July 3, 2008

Rockholds Officially Gift New $364,000 City Hall Facility to Memphis Community

There was no wrapping paper, but one giant ribbon was cut June 30th on a $364,000 gift to the City of Memphis.

The new city hall building was officially transferred by donors Bob and Rennetta Rockhold to the City of Memphis at a ceremony held Monday evening at the new facility located at 125 W. Jefferson Street.

Rennetta Rockhold presented the warranty deed and the official donation agreement to Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg in front of a large gathering at the new site.

“We would like to thank the mayor, the council, and the citizens of Memphis, Missouri for accepting this gift,” she stated at the ceremony. “Building this city hall was not something we owed or something we had to do, but it was something we wanted to do. Bob enjoyed growing up in Memphis and despite being poor he has great memories of his childhood.”

Construction of the approximately 2,000 square foot building began in October of 2007 after the plans were disclosed for the proposed donation.

“After spending 40 years in California, Bob Rockhold realized that he really enjoyed the freedoms he had while growing up in a small town,” stated Sandy Arnold of the Bank of Memphis, an affiliate of Rockhold’s Bank of Kirksville system. “Every day we are losing our freedoms one by one. When Bob comes to Memphis, it is coming home. He has always felt like his roots were here in Memphis.”

The new site is handicapped accessible and promises to be more efficient for energy consumption while also offering expanded parking and a larger public meeting room.

The facility was designed by architect Michael P. Kettelkamp of Hannibal. Gordon and Motter Construction of Kirksville built the new city hall.

“You must wonder, why build a building and then give it away,” Arnold stated. “Bob has built many buildings and this one is truly the one he enjoyed building the most.”

Representatives of the Memphis Area of Chamber of Commerce performed an official ribbon cutting for the new site that is expected to open for business in August. An official grand opening is being planned for a later date.

“When people come to Memphis, first impressions count so much,” Arnold stated. “This building is a gift of the heart, which is intended to benefit present and future generations. When Bob and Renetta decided to construct and donate this beautiful facility to the City of Memphis, they wanted something that said ‘welcome to Memphis’.”

The current city council members and city hall staff were joined by former Mayor Roger Gosney and former alderman Brian Brush, who were both on the council during the time this project started.

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