By Casey Mann, Chatham News + Record Staff

Demolition of the empty building located on 50 W. Salisbury St. in Pittsboro is scheduled to begin this week.

The building, which formerly housed a Piggly Wiggly and a PTA Thrift Store, was purchased by the Town of Pittsboro last year to redevelop the property for construction of a new 42,000 sq. ft. town hall.

The historic Pittsboro courthouse is reflected in the old Piggly Wiggly building on West Salisbury Street Friday afternoon before demolition Monday. The plans for the new Town Hall building on this site call for at least 130 parking spaces, a terraced roof and LEED certification. (Photo by David Bradley)

The project, which is expected to have construction costs of approximately $15 million, is necessary to support town services as the town grows, according to Pittsboro Town Manager Bryan Gruesbeck.

“The current Town Hall on East Street has served the town well over the past 20 plus years but is not equipped to handle all of our challenges in the next 20 plus years,” Gruesbeck said. “We’ve simply outgrown the space. This is especially relevant given Pittsboro’s current and future levels of growth. At the same time, the town has an opportunity to strengthen the historic downtown by redeveloping a vacant property and filling a big need for additional parking to support neighboring businesses.”

Pittsboro contracted with DH Griffin to demolish the existing building. As was typical of commercial spaces built at the time 50 W. Salisbury St. was developed, asbestos was used during the construction process. DH Griffin is licensed to handle and dispose of the asbestos. The demolition project is expected to cost $178,650, well below the original estimate of $312,000. Demolition should be completed within a month.

Aside from the demolition, the project has completed the Phase I Pre Design which outlined what functions will take place in the new building as well as preliminary internal and external designs and cost estimates. Pittsboro architect Taylor Hobbs performed the work on the first phase and presented the construction budget to the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners earlier this month.

Current tentative designs for new building show four floors and a parking garage with town commissioners approving all suggested alternates, including a card reader security system, roof terrace and LEED certification to the project. The town hall is anticipated to also house some Chatham County offices.

“Chatham County is growing and also needs space to meet current and future demands,” Gruesbeck said. “They anticipate leasing a portion of the new town hall. This is an opportunity to lower both of our costs while improving the level of service to our citizens. We also anticipate that the existing town hall will be re-purposed as an expanded location for our police department.”

According to Hobbs, the first and third floors of the new town hall will be used by town staff, while the second floor will house the offices of the Chatham County Board of Elections and the fourth floor will be home to the county’s health department. Each floor will span 10,000 square feet, and the parking deck will have 134 spaces with 11 on-street parking spots. An entrance plaza will be constructed along Salisbury Street with access to a separate parking area.

“The new town hall should be right-sized for a growing community with space to grow as the town grows,” Gruesbeck said. “Additional parking will maintain the viability of our successful historic downtown. We expect to enhance our formal and informal meeting space (board and conference rooms, for example). The building will be designed with environmentally sustainable features like state of the art stormwater controls — a lesson we’ve been learning the hard way given the intensity of recent rain storms.”

Town commissioners will be reviewing a proposal from Hobbs Architects for Phase 2 Design at one of the board’s two upcoming meetings. has partnered with the Chatham News + Record in order to bring more Chatham-focused stories to our audience. 

The Chatham News + Record is Chatham County’s source for local news and journalism. The Chatham News, established in 1924, and the Chatham Record, founded in 1878, have come together to better serve the Chatham community as the Chatham News + Record. Covering news, business, sports and more, the News + Record is working to strengthen community ties through compelling coverage of life in Chatham County.