By Sarrah Peters/News Editor
The Gadsden City Council made several announcements at its weekly meeting on Tuesday, August 21.
Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton announced that the city is finalizing lease terms with Buffalo Wild Wings. The new restaurant will be built on four acres of land near Coosa Landing between The Venue, city’s new event space, and the Riverwalk trail. The city cites interest in The Venue and its riverfront development plan as a major contributor in attracting the business to the area.
Buffalo Wild Wings is, of course, best known for its Buffalo, N.Y., style wings available in a variety of flavors. The restaurant was founded in 1982 and now boasts over 1,250 locations in 10 countries.
The city said that the restaurant will provide about $4 million dollars in capital investment and create around 120 new jobs, which would benefit Gadsden’s economic development.
The city is hopeful that Buffalo Wild Wings will draw more businesses to invest in the development of the riverfront, which would better utilize the Coosa River’s scenic views.
The city will complete infrastructure work that will benefit The Venue as well as the new restaurant and building should begin after that work is done. Construction of the restaurant should take about a year.
“This will be a great addition for Gadsden from an entertainment, dining and economic development perspective,” said Guyton.
The city also announced the implementation of Gadsden City Schools’ new reading program, myOn. Gadsden City Schools Director of Special Education Sharon Maness gave a special presentation at the city council meeting to highlight the program’s features.
The myOn Reading Program is a digital library with about 6,000 books for students from Pre-K to the 12th grade.
The program adjusts to an individual’s interests, grade and reading level. For reluctant readers, the app can assist by reading the pages aloud while the student follows along. The program is a useful tool for teachers to gauge the reading comprehension of students because the program provides Lexile measurements.
“This program will allow students to have access to a digital library in their homes, in our community centers, in our community housing, in our local Boys and Girls Club, and anywhere they have access to Wi-Fi,” said Maness.
For students without consistent access to Wi-Fi, the program allows students to download up to 20 books on the app.
The myOn reading program was funded with $300,000 the city appropriated for reading and math in Gadsden City Schools. The program will begin on August 31.
Maness also said that morning and afternoon math and reading tutoring has already started.
Noccalula Falls Park supervisor Christina Richardson spoke at city council about the return of the Art on the Rocks at the Falls arts and craft festival that will be held on May 4 and 5. Art on the Rocks was announced at the Noccalula Falls’ Kiwanis Pavilion Open House on Thursday, August 16.
The Gadsden Art Association contacted Noccalula Falls to partner on the festival, which has not been held for about 20 years.
Applications for artists will be available by the end of September at artgadsden.com.