The Transylvania Times -

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April 22, 2019

Why do the lights burn all night at the new observation tower on Sassafras Mountain at the South Carolina state line?

The new observation tower, which opens today with a dedication ceremony, has been burning its lights all night, but when the tower opens to the public the lights will not burn all night anymore, according to Mark Hall, project manager for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) for the Joccasee Gorges tract.

“We really don’t want the lights. We aren’t interested in interrupting the landscape with the lights. That’s not what we’re about. But, unfortunately, we were required by the state engineers office to have lighting, even though the structure will not be open at night,” he said. “None of the staff support it, but we were required to for safety reasons and to meet code. It was extra money (about $50,000) and we were required by state regulations to have lights on the structure.”

Hall said legal staff with the state of South Carolina was able to work with the SCDNR and change the rules, so the lights will not burn all night any longer.

As previously reported, the nonprofit clinic Blue Ridge Health is moving to a bigger location in the French Broad Place building in downtown Brevard. How much space will the clinic take up at the new location?

Lee Homan, Blue Ridge Health’s director of marketing and communication, provided the following response: The initial build out for which we are currently seeking funding is 5,000 square feet, but we have already purchased, and plan to expand to, 11,405 square feet in phase two.

Once complete, the final space will include a significant expansion of dental services from three staff members up to 10, added exam rooms for additional medical providers, and private behavioral health space in its own suite. Technically, at 5,000 square feet, the initial phase of the build out will not be much larger than the space we have now, but much more of it will be usable clinical space than our current location, and it’ll be laid out in a manner more conducive to our practice’s operation.

This will allow us to see more patients and provide expanded services despite having similar square footage.

Access to the practice will be from North Broad Street, but patients will also be able to access the practice from the parking deck.

In order to complete the project, Blue Ridge Health is seeking private grants and community donations.


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