‘Some walls must come down’: Harrelson Center celebrates expansion, begins exterior renovations

‘Some walls must come down’: Harrelson Center celebrates expansion, begins exterior renovations

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Community leaders gathered Friday to celebrate the expansion of an organization designed to bring people together, and they did so by tearing down a physical wall.

Bricks rained down from the Harrelson Center building on the corner of Market Street and 4th Street, as the organization welcomed neighbors to celebrate Valentines Day.

The building used to be the New Hanover County jail, but has since been repurposed into a hub of nonprofit organizations, with the goal of providing people access to education, housing and more.

Executive Director Meade Horton Van Pelt said it was fitting that the organization’s expansion and progress in its major capital project be celebrated by tearing down a physical wall.

“This wall was built in the 70′s as part of the jail for confinement and really taking away freedoms, and today we are giving freedom. Just giving it back, and we know that that’s our future,” she said.

District Attorney Ben David gave the keynote remarks at the ceremony and was joined at the event by other dignitaries, including New Hanover County Commissioner Rob Zapple and Interim Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams.

Van Pelt said the organization hopes to have the revitalization of the space complete by the fall.

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