By Amanda Dodson
Community leaders gathered at Pine Hall Community Campus to hold a ribbon cutting of the 1.3 million dollar facility on Tuesday morning.
“This is a really important day in Stokes County and the Pine Hall community. It’s a day we’ve been anticipating for a long time,” said County Manager, Rick Morris.
The building sits off the road of 3853 Highway 311 and will house both a medical clinic and multi-purpose area intended for varied community activities such as senior services, congregate meals, weddings, family reunions and club meetings. The design is centered around a multipurpose room built to accommodate 125 people, an adjoining kitchen, and two rooms for storage or smaller gatherings.
“We had a recent public meeting in this building and it was the first time many people had seen it. All the feedback was very positive,” Morris said. “This will provide a place for private type functions. There will be a structured fee associated with it. We have round and rectangular tables so it can be configured in different ways.”
The project was made possible through Ron Petree and Ann Petree Ivey, who donated the land and funded the structure in its entirety.
“Mr. Petree is a generous man. I’ve gotten to know him very well over the past three years and he really has a desire to give back to this community,” Morris said.
Petree lives in Mebane, N.C., but has family ties to Stokes County. The 75-year-old spent four years working at Hanging Rock State as a young man and said he still treasures many of those memories.
An important aspect of the project for Petree was adding a medical component to the facility.
“We actually did a census check and within a 10 mile radius there’s 35,000 people, with some outside of Stokes. It only takes seven minutes to drive here from Walnut Cove,” Morris said.
Life Brite Hospital Administrator Pam Tillman, believes the facility has the potential to make a strong impact. Since Life Brite purchased the hospital through a lease arrangement beginning on Jan. 31, the transitions of multiple campuses have been ongoing.
“I was touched by Mr. Petree’s vision and how he was able to verbalize how important this project was to him. As we’ve talked about this building, and the medical portion of it, I’d like to say we’ll have the building operating in a month or two. We’re excited to partner with you.”
Stokes County commissioners were in attendance on Tuesday and each publically thanked Petree for his contribution in the Pine Hall community.
Commissioner James Booth said, “In 2014 when we heard about this it was hard to believe it was going to all come together. But I was excited about it then and even more excited now to see this facility and what it’s going to mean for Stokes County. This opportunity we have is a blessing.”
Before cutting the ribbon to commemorate the day, Petree shared how he was “tickled” with the end result.
“This is a special place and I’m happy to say this is for the people of Pine Hall,” he said.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.