Exciting times for Clemmons with a special land opportunity

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 4, 2024

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By Jim Buice

For the Clemmons Courier

For the village of Clemmons, the idea of having some sort of community center has always been a major goal.

That goes all the way back to 2010 when the town put together a Comprehensive Plan addressing Community Character and a Village Center: “At present, Clemmons lacks two assets enjoyed by many communities — a strong sense of place and a traditional pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use civic center. The concept of a Village Center is intended to help remedy both issues. The thinking about the specific location of the Village Center evolved during development of the plan.”

Then there was this: “The final recommendation is to develop a future Village Center at the Village Point/Novant area north of I-40 because of its central location in the community, potential for public-private partnership and access to I-40.”


Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you no doubt saw the big news from the March 11 council meeting that Clemmons announced an intent to purchase 12.43 acres of land from Novant Health adjacent to the Village Point Greenway and Fishing Pier for $2,235,600 million.

Funding came from money awarded last fall under the House Bill 259 Appropriations Act

Just consider how all this happened. First, Mayor Mike Rogers announced in a council meeting last September that Clemmons had been awarded $4.8 million in funding from the state’s Appropriations Act to use, for all intents and purposes, as the village best determined.

At the time, the mayor said that the windfall was programmed to come in two installments of $2.4 million each with the first part included in the recently approved budget for spending in fiscal year 2023-2024 and the second part to be included in the 2024-2025 budget — without requiring any matching local funds.

Village officials noted that Novant Health has long been a community partner and that its willingness to accept an offer at a significant reduction from the asking price shows its continued dedication and partnership with the village.

A couple of years ago, hope was raised for a solution to the longtime dream of a community center when Sandi Scannelli, president and CEO of the Shallow Ford Foundation (formerly the Clemmons Community Foundation), made a presentation at a council meeting about exploring options on creating a public-private partnership.

Some dialogue followed, but nothing of significance with the daunting reality of the cost of such a large tract of land in the right location along with the dollars involved in what should be part of such a community center.

But the latest news changes all of that.

Village officials said that this acquisition marks a significant milestone in a commitment to preserving open space and enhancing community recreational opportunities while providing room for additional amenities.

The possibilities are endless for what shape(s) it might take in the prime location. Certainly, constructing some sort of amphitheater or events structure with restroom facilities checks lots of boxes. Or how about the relocation of Village Hall, the Clemmons Farmers Market or Clemmons Community Policing Officers?

The village will take plenty of time to receive public input before deciding how to proceed. Like Rogers said: “The council will have 22,000 opinions coming in.”

It will be exciting to see how it all comes together.

• • • •

Food for thought: I’ve always preferred white-meat chicken (mainly breasts) to dark meat (legs and thighs), and there’s always a higher price to pay for that choice.

But I found out something I didn’t know, which covers quite a few years, on a recent visit to our favorite restaurant in Calabash that the same holds true for flounder.

Where has that been on the menu at seafood restaurants all these years? I’ve always loved the white flaky flounder best but never knew that was an exclusive choice. I was told that the dark side is typically thicker and more moist while the white side is thinner and milder.

I’ll have to do some more research, but I look forward to ordering it that way on the next trip to the beach and see what happens.

• • • •

Can you believe the incredible run that N.C. State has made from coming out of nowhere to winning five games in five days to claim the ACC Tournament and then make a dramatic run to the Final Four, including a drubbing of Duke to get there?

Like many, I couldn’t help but think back to the days of Jim Valvano and the magic of the Cardiac Pack when I was covering games as a sports writer in early days of Valvano, Coach K along with the legendary Dean Smith.

I love this Wolfpack team and hope they win it all, and like many have embraced the amazing play of the beefy DJ Burns, who looks like an offensive lineman while floating around in the lane like a ballerina with that little left-handed hook shot. 

This Cinderella story put together by N.C. State ranks right up there among the best in NCAA Tournament history.