Building up and coming down

Drew Butler
A crew works on the new Schlotzky’s building near Acadamy Sports and Outdoors. Dairy Queen will soon be breaking ground just east of the new Schlotzky’s.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, new construction continues to sprout up throughout Ardmore. While there may not be quite as many businesses breaking ground as there were in the past, a wide range of projects are either currently underway or are set to begin in the near future.

Community Development Director Jessica Scott said her office has been extremely busy since he early days of the pandemic.

“Construction is not the same as it was, but it’s still steady and still moving forward,” Scott said. “Residential projects seem to be extremely popular, and we’ve been getting lots of requests for homeowners to install new decks, porches and carports.”

As far as commercial construction, Burke’s Outlet and Schlotzky’s are currently well underway in the Market Street shopping center near Academy Sports and Outdoors. Also at Market Street, Dairy Queen will likely break ground to the east of Schlotzky’s early next month.

Another major source of new construction comes from the educational buildings that are sprouting up all over the city. Scott said a new early childhood center at Plainview and the new combination gymnasium and auditorium at Jefferson Elementary are both coming along well.

Another school building soon to begin construction is the new 800 seat performing art center at Ardmore High School, which will be located west of Noble Stadium.

“I’m just about to issue the permit for the new performing arts center,” Scott said. “That is going to be a major project, and I think it also represents hope for the future that one day this pandemic will be behind us and we can all go sit next to each other in a theater again.”

In addition to keeping track of all the new buildings coming up, Scott’s department is also busy monitoring all of the condemned structures around the city.

“We’ve started a survey on every condemned structure in the city, so we’re putting them all on a schedule and every month we’re going by a few of them and taking pictures,” Scott said. “We want to make sure that they’re all still secure, and that nobody has broken in or committed any vandalism.”

The project will help the city focus in on the exact condition of each of the condemned buildings. Scott said while some are a complete loss, some could actually still be salvaged if the owner chose to invest in repairs.