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COVID-19 slows down construction at the Raleigh Springs Civic Center

The Raleigh Springs Civic Center partially opens to the public; however, the pandemic slowed down construction for the site's library.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down many projects across the Mid-South. That includes the construction at the site of what used to be the Raleigh Springs Mall. Local 24 News reporter Brittani Moncrease gives us an update on the $40 million project.

You might remember back in October, the former Raleigh Springs Mall site was gated and blocked off for construction. Not anymore. The new Raleigh Springs Civic Center is now partially open to the public. With a new look and new feel, it was time for a name change.

What was initially going to be called the Raleigh Springs Town Center is now the Raleigh Springs Civic Center. 

“That’s what it’s for. It’s to help create a civic pride in that area. It already has a sense of civic pride, but now it has a specific location to focus on,” said Mary Claire Borys, Division of Housing and Community Development Strategic Intiative Manager. 

Borys said the project was on schedule. The police station opened as well as the skate park. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic took over. 

"Luckily, we haven't had any cases among our construction workers. We do check them regularly,” said Borys.

"The biggest problem has been the materials we need that are shipping in from out of state or in some cases even out of country where factories have shut down.Things that we used to could order and would arrive in three weeks are now being told that it will arrive in three months."

This caused delay in the opening of the library.

"Right now, we're hoping to finish primary construction at the library in about mid-September," said Borys.

Of course, it is important to remember. 

"Everything is fluid," said Borys.

There is still 20-acres of empty land. 

“We’ll continue to listen to the private development community and also the local and the neighborhood about what sort of stuff they’d like to see there,” said Borys. 

In the meantime, people are already appreciating the center. 

“We’re very happy that folks can be out there enjoying walking around the trail and looking at the lake,” said Borys. “We’re glad that there is something that is safe and can be done in a responsibly social distance manner and is available for young people to do right now.”

The city would also like to remind people that you should not swim in the lake. The water is street water run-off and is not clean. 

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