Troy University pitches idea for Coulter Building

By Blenda Copeland

No commitments have yet been publicly announced, but Troy University has again approached the Russell County Commission with ideas of how the historic, county-owned Coulter Building could be used.

Maj. Gen. Walter D. Givhan, Troy University’s (Phenix City campus) senior vice chancellor for Advancement and Economic Development, presented the pitch.

In a brief overview during a work session March 20, Givhan suggested that if the commission gave the building to the university, the university could seek donor support to help re-develop the building’s space as a gallery for local artists, a classroom/studio, offices, a county museum and perhaps even a portion for a coffee shop. Albert Patterson’s offices upstairs could be preserved. Givhan said he could even envision a statue of Albert Patterson nearby. Givhan noted that all the ideas he presented were purely notional, although he did present a blue print sample of what an interior plan could look like. He also discussed a potential timeline of repairs as funding allowed, and showed the commission a sample of what a plaque at the building could look like, thanking the commission for its involvement in the project.

During discussion, commissioners had a few questions, and County Attorney Kenneth Funderburk said this method of re-developing the building would be a sound one. “I can tell you this is the way you need to come at it,” he said, stressing that everything would need to be put in writing, though.

The presentation was for consideration; the commission did not consider the matter on its regular meeting agenda March 22.