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The Harrelson Center Opens Annex, Event Venue At Downtown Wilmington Campus

By Staff Reports, posted Aug 10, 2021
The new event venue at The Harrelson Center in downtown Wilmington, Plaza on Princess, includes space for civic meetings, professional development trainings, and parties, weddings and special events. (Photo courtesy of Plaza on Princess)
A campus for nonprofit organizations in downtown Wilmington celebrated the completion of a major expansion project Tuesday afternoon.

The Jo Ann Carter Harrelson Center Inc. officially opened the Vicki Dull Annex and its new event venue, Plaza on Princess, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the completion of renovations to what had been a New Hanover County jail tower. 

The project nearly doubled the capacity of the campus, located on Fourth Street between Market and Princess streets.

"The three-story tower, named the Vicki Dull Annex for the second executive director of The Harrelson Center and reflective of a major gift, includes two floors for nonprofit office suites, shared restrooms and meeting space, and a courtyard-level event space, Plaza on Princess, for up to 300 people," a news release stated.

The Harrelson Center hosted the ribbon-cutting on what would have been Jo Ann Carter Harrelson’s 84th birthday with members of her family and local leaders.

“This is a significant milestone for Wilmington as The Harrelson Center represents our collective capacity to meet humanitarian needs and build the resilient, responsive network of non-profit organizations on which our community relies,” said Meade Van Pelt, executive director of The Harrelson Center, in the release. 

Renovations to the jail tower began in November 2019 along with the redesign of the exterior courtyard at the corner of Market and Fourth streets. The cost of construction for the second and final phase of renovations to the law enforcement center was $3.5 million, the release stated.

For the second phase of construction, Bruce Bowman, of BMH Architects, was the architect and McKinley Building Corp. was the general contractor.

The Harrelson Center has occupied the former New Hanover County law enforcement center since 2005.
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