Journey to the Earl Scruggs Center – Pt 5

DCC Applies For A $1.5 Million Grant From The Economic Development Administration To Be Used For Construction Of The Earl Scruggs Center

The minutes from the county commissioners meeting on February 2, 2010, tells that DCC has applied for a grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to be used for construction of the Earl Scruggs Center.

Because the county owns the courthouse building, Cleveland County is required to be a co-applicant. If awarded, the EDA required the county’s name to be put as a first lien holder on the property. County Attorney Bob Yelton explained that this is not legally allowed under NC General Statutes. In place of the lien, Attorney is recommending that Commissioners approve a covenant of purpose, use and ownership document. This document states that the property could only be used for the purpose for which the grant is applied for without prior permission from the EDA.

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the application from Destination Cleveland County and Cleveland County for the EDA Federal Assistance Award and moved that the Chairwoman and Clerk be authorized and directed to execute, on behalf of Cleveland County, any and all documents necessary to complete said application.

Gardner-Webb University Godbold School of Business Revisits The Projected Impact of DCC’s Projects On The Economy Of Cleveland County

In an article in The Star dated February 9, 2010, Thomas J. Meaders, Ph.D. of the Gardner-Webb University Godbold School of Business said he was asked to revisit the feasibility analysis which he performed two years ago for DCC for the Gibson Theatre and Scruggs Museum, in light of the changed economic environment.

He found that the projected impact has declined by approximately 12% over the ten year period, based on assuming a slow economic recovery in 2011.

But the projects are forecasted to remain viable and have a positive impact of almost $180 million in total economic activity over the first 10 years of operations and produce from 200-250 additional jobs within Cleveland County.

It is worth noting that Ralph “Scoot Dixon, Jr. is Senior Vice President of Community Relations at Gardner-Webb University and he is head of the Godbold School of Business. His wife, Myra Dixon has been a member of Destination Cleveland County’s Board of Directors since 2007.

J.T. Scruggs, co-chairman of DCC’s capital campaign and the Earl Scruggs Center, quoted these figures the next month in an article in The Star on March 21, 2010, where DCC is inviting the public to attend a presentation of the work to date on Phase I Exhibit Design for the Earl Scruggs Center.

J.T. Scruggs said, “Once completed, in hopefully late 2011, the Center along with DCC’s other successful project, the Don Gibson Theatre, is projected to bring an economic impact to our county of over $180 million over a 10-year period- that’s $18 million a year to our county’s bottom line, and that’s significant.”

DCC Lands $1.5 Million Federal Grant From The United States Department Of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration For The Earl Scruggs Center

An April 8, 2010 article in The Star tells that DCC gets $1,543,000.00 from an Economic Development Administration grant for the Earl Scruggs Center: Music and Stories of the Carolina Foothills.

DCC Executive Director Emily Epley said, “We are so appreciative that the EDA has recognized the Earl Scruggs Center as a development project for our economically distressed county and region… And now, construction on the center could start sooner than later thanks to the cash.”

However, construction does not start for another year, until March 2011. Where did this more than $1 million sit for a year?

Destination Cleveland County Board of Directors July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011
Brownie Plaster
, Chairwoman
Adelaide Craver, Vice Chair
John Schweppe, III, Secretary
Robin Smith, Treasurer
Emily Epley, DCC Executive Director
Myra Dixon
Shannon Kennedy
Millie Wood
Sherry Grenier
Stan Anthony
(Shelby City Council Member)
Linda Horn
Michael Poage
J.T. Scruggs
Jeff Ross
Trip Boinest
Stephanie Burrell
Pam Merritt
Dr. Policastro
Stan Lowery
, Don Gibson Theatre Executive Director

Civitas Names The Golden LEAF Grant For The Earl Scruggs Center On Their Top Ten List Of Wasteful Golden LEAF Projects.

July 16, 2010 Civitas lists The Earl Scruggs Center grant to DCC as number five on their top ten list of most wasteful Golden LEAF projects. They say: 5. Banjo Boondoggle, a $250,000 grant in 2008 was awarded by Golden LEAF to help finance construction of a “performance space inside the historic Cleveland County courthouse.”

The renovated courthouse is intended to “serve as a destination hub for travelers to experience the connection between music and the traditions of the Carolina Foothills.” The courthouse will also house the Earl Scruggs Center, featuring “permanent interactive exhibits highlighting Earl Scruggs’ contribution to music.”

DCC Hosts Open House For The Historic Artifacts And For The Don Gibson Theatre

dcctimeline1On Saturday, August 7, 2010, the public is invited to view the Don Gibson Theater, and to see the historic artifacts from the Cleveland County Historical Museum that are located at a storage facility at the old Hunter School.

Attendants were given a sheet of paper at the storage facility telling that DCC was born out of a 2006 Task Force led by a professor from NC State to determine the best use of the contents from the Historical Museum. Through extensive research, DCC determined the Scruggs Center would be the most viable way to tell of the community while bringing economic impact to the community.

DCC says the renovation of the interior of the courthouse building is to begin in late fall of 2012 and the Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories Of The Carolina Foothills is scheduled to open late in 2011.
At the September 14, 2010 County Commissioners Meeting, J.T. Scruggs gave an update on the Earl Scruggs Center. He said the engineering design is scheduled to be completed at the end of September. They are expecting to bid the project at the end of October with construction beginning in November.

Earl Scruggs Is Hospitalized

On September 17, 2010 Earl Scruggs was hospitalized after he fell ill upon arrival for a concert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. J.T. Scruggs told The Star, “I heard they put him in the hospital overnight to check him out.”

The Wastebook Lists EDA Grant For The Earl Scruggs Center As No. 69 Out Of 100 Worst Wastes Of Government Grant Money in 2010 states:

The article in Decmember 2010, from The Wastebook, titled ‘Banjo Player Honered in Museum’ [Shelby, NC] states:

$1.5 Million taxpapers may not quite get the twang for their buck from this project.

A North Carolina county hopes a $1.5 million federal grant for a museum honoring a local bluegrass singer will provide an economic boost. The Earl Scruggs Center, which is not expected to open until the end of 2011 will contain exhibits paying tribute to the well-known musician.

Scruggs changed the way people looked at the banjo as an instrument, remarked Destination Cleveland County Executive Director. The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded the grant on April 7, 2010.

Earl Scruggs And His Sons Return To Cleveland County For An Earl Scruggs Family Reunion: Music and Stories Concertt.

Earl Scruggs returns to Cleveland County for a third concert to benefit DCC.

On December 3, 2010, he and with sons Gary and Randy performed and told stories at a sold-out performance at the Don Gibson Theatre.

The concert was held in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music that is being held at the Don Gibson Theatre.