City of Jonesboro ends quest to obtain Army Reserve building

JONESBORO, AR (AP) - Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says the city is ending its quest to acquire a vacated building once occupied by the U.S. Army Reserve Center.

The mayor says the city will build a new building for the Jonesboro Police Department elsewhere.

The city wanted to use the building for a police headquarters while Arkansas State University wants the 18,000-square-foot facility to house its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Center.

The Jonesboro Local Redevelopment Authority deadlocked 3-3 on June 6 while trying to decide between the two proposals.

Perrin says he thinks the best use of the building would have been for a police headquarters but adds he doesn't want to risk damaging the city's relationship with the university.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The future of the US Army Reserve Center on Caraway Road in Jonesboro is up in the air.  Tuesday the committee in charge met for the third time to take a tour of the facility.  ASU would like to use the building which is just a few blocks from their campus.  The city would like to transform the facility into a new headquarters for the Jonesboro Police Department.  Committee members say both have valid reasons for wanting the building and it will be a tough call.

Four of the six committee members took in every nook and cranny of the building picturing what the building could be.

"Looking at the layout of the building and the possible uses of the building," said project manager Heather Clements.

Margaret Holloway has been a part of this committee since 2005.

"ASU and the Jonesboro Police Department mean a lot to Jonesboro they mean a lot to me they mean a lot to the committee," said Holloway.

She thought the decision was already made but now they are choosing between what she calls two very deserving groups.

"I want to do the right thing.  I want to do the right thing for the city, I want to do the right thing for ASU," said Holloway.

The city would like to use the 18,000 square foot facility for a police headquarters while Arkansas State University has plans for their science technology engineering and math program or "STEM program".

"They are both very viable contenders.  It's just a hard decision," said Holloway.

That's why the committee, in their third meeting on this issue, is taking this tour.  They must look at everything and determine which group would benefit most if they receive this building.

"If we voted today I don't know if you would get six answers the same," said Holloway.

"I don't know how much more I can think about it," said John Street.

Holloway said she would like the committee to meet with representatives from ASU and the police department again this week to ask questions so they can make the best choice.

"I just want them both to get it," said Holloway.

A meeting is planned for Monday at 3:00 p.m. for a decision from the committee.  Whether or not a decision will actually be made is still too tough to call.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.