Roan Mountain celebrates new convenience center

After almost half a year of hard work, the Roan Mountain Convenience Center officially opened its doors Monday.

Solid Waste Director Benny Lyons said it has been a long time coming.

“It is a weight off my shoulders,” Lyons said. “We have come a long ways.”

What was once a simple, old building and a few dumpsters has evolved into a paved facility off Highway 19E. The facility features two different paths, an inner circle for Lyons’ trucks and an outer circle for residents to dump their own trash. Different dumpsters rest at almost ground level at the outer circle for different types of trash, including demolition and household.

The office space has a completely new building for the workers to call home, courtesy of Daniel Arnett’s architecture class from Hampton High School.

“We did all the work in-house,” he said.

Even the roads were in-house, thanks to the Highway Department.

Lyons said the completion of the five-month project represents a great benefit to the Roan Mountain community, most importantly distance.

“It is 20 minutes from here to the Landfill,” he said.

He said this will allow residents to have a more convenient location to drop off their trash.

He said the high school students were directly responsible for drawing up and building the new office space, which was described as a learning experience in both directions.

“I learned to be patient,” Lyons said. “A lot of times, these kids have never been around some of this construction stuff.”

On the other side, Lyons said the students got to learn about architecture in a hands-on way, gaining valuable experience.

“I enjoyed working with them,” he said.

The center officially opens this morning at the same location as before: 102 Old Rock Quarry Road in Roan Mountain. The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

As for what is still to come, Lyons said the only things they still need to do are put up the fencing and relocate the current buildings, which he said will go to other locations where they are needed.

“We are here for the community,” Lyons said. “We hope they will use it and not litter; keep everything in the dumpsters.”

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