A slab of soil is the start of something big.
"People are riding by, stopping and calling," said Bobby Hopkins, Princeville's town manager. "They are asking 'Is that going to be where the new town hall is?'"
After hurricane flooding swallowed up Princeville's old town hall in 1999, town employees moved into a maze of mobile offices.
"Now this is a brand-new building in a brand new location where everybody will be able to see it, and it basically closes, almost, the recovery efforts," Hopkins said.
After seeing the flooding, some people thought that the town would never come back. Federal and state tax money have breathed new life into the community, and almost every homeowner has returned.
"I see more building, people getting new homes. The homes some of them had are getting rebuilt," said resident Mary Lane.
"They've got people moving into new homes and they're rebuilding Princeville. It just looks nice," said resident J.C. Lane.
The old town hall building is still in bad shape with paint peeling off the walls and water stains are still visible.The government even put up a fence a few months ago to keep out trespassers.
However, the town has Princeville still has grand plans for the old building.It will be renovated into an African American cultural museum. No doubt, the flood will be part of that history.
Princeville town leaders will get the keys to the new town hall building on Sept. 16., three years to the day that the old building flooded.
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