Ownership of the American Legion Building will be transferred from Graham Civic Services, Inc., the corporation of the city’s civic clubs, to the City of Graham for $1. 

The move came after all three parties agreed to the transfer at the May 8 Graham City Council meeting, and City Manager David Casteel said during that meeting that there are many benefits to the strategy. 

“We could basically transfer the ownership of the American Legion Building to the city,” Casteel explained. “We would oversee the construction, the maintenance and operation, thereafter providing some guarantees for the civic services clubs that they could stay there for a period, and some rent guarantees to the chamber, so we don’t immediately jack up their rent real high.”

The transfer of ownership is being finalized by the city’s attorney after the governing boards for the three parties involved approved the draft agreement in principle on May 8. 

Jarrod Stephens, chairman of GCSI’s board, said the transfer will allow clubs to focus more time and resources into serving the community as opposed to building management and upkeep. 

“This is a good deal for the civic clubs because we can concentrate on what we are there for, which is civic service,” said Stephens. “Having this agreement with the city is a beneficial win-win for all parties involved.”

The approval of this agreement serves as another hurdle cleared in the race to build a new visitors center, update the dining hall and various other improvements and additions for the ALB planned by the chamber/CVB with the help of the city. 

“The next step, once this agreement is done, is the final architecture and engineering drawings will be drafted and finalized, which will take four months,” said Chamber/CVB CEO Jennifer Conway. “Then demolition will begin.”

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.