Executive Office Building demolished

COVINGTON - Demolition of the Old Executive Office Building is under way now that county offices once housed there have relocated to the new Newton County Administration Building.

The demolition began Dec. 26 and will take about three weeks to complete, according to Project Manager Ray McFadden.

"We'll get the building down; then we'll have a little bit of grading and throw some grass on it and some straw and put a silt fence around it," he said.

Eventually, a civic center/hotel/conference center will be constructed there. That project is in the planning stages.

The building was once a Kroger grocery store. Several long-term local residents told the Citizen they believe the store was built in the late '50s or early '60s. The county purchased and renovated the property in the 1970s, and Kroger moved to Newton Plaza.

Scott Fuss, who remembers shopping with his parents at the grocery store in the 1960s, was hoping to preserve a bit of the building's history.

Fuss remembers a tile mosaic at the building's entrance featuring "a woman that was Betty Rubble-ish looking, pushing a shopping cart," along with a blue Kroger logo.

Fuss went to the demolition site Wednesday afternoon to point out the location of the mosaic, which he hoped to take home, but only cement blocks were revealed when the brick was knocked away.

McFadden said the building was likely structurally reinforced when it was remodeled.

Fuss said he recalled the original building being enameled metal.

In other news, a two-story parking deck located across the street from the Administration Building is now open.

The deck was completed the week before Christmas and the deck is now being used by county employees and customers visiting the Administration Building, along with the congregation of First Baptist Church on the weekends, McFadden said.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum @newtoncitizen.com.