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Vacant space in a Reidsville manufacturing firm was offered to the county this week for the consolidation of the Rockingham County Department of Social Services.

Louis Skrabec, president of Chace Precision Metals, told the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners Monday that he would lease 20,000 square feet of space in the company's building on Barnes Street in Reidsville to the county for $120,000 to $130,000 a year.Of that, Skrabec said 10,240 square feet was ready for immediate occupancy. The balance of the space would require some modification, he said.

``It seems like it would fit pretty well what Mr. (Glenn) Fuqua refers to as staff offices,' Skrabec said. Fuqua is the county's social services director.

The department is under a federal mandate to consolidate the county's three branches of the department - in Eden, Reidsville and Madison.

Skrabec said part of the space, which would take up two levels in the southeast corner of the building, also could be modified and used as a staff meeting room or auditorium.

The problem with the site is its location, which is easily accessible to Reidsville residents, but would require a good deal of travel for residents in the western part of the county.

``The space is adequate,' said County Manager Hugh P. Griffin Jr., who toured the site with Fuqua. ``Our biggest problem with it would be the ... location.'

The site has security gates and adequate parking, something the current Reidsville location is lacking.

``I have no idea what it would cost to adapt it. ... But it is adaptable to the needs of DSS,' Griffin told the commissioners.

Skrabec's offer on Monday became the third Reidsville site considered by commissioners, who have yet to take any action on the consolidation.

Other sites in town include the abandoned Franklin Street School and the old TG&Y/Big Star building on Freeway Drive.

The commissioners also have discussed the possibility of moving the department into the Fieldcrest Building on Harrington Highway in Eden or building a new facility for DSS next to the Governmental Center in Wentworth.

``This is about the fifth thing we have,' Commissioner Ossie ``Toad' London said after hearing Skrabec's presentation. ``One of these days we're going to have to get together and discuss what we're going to do.'

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