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Work on Nuwaubian building continues • Friday May 23, 2003

Unsure if project will ever be complete
Athens Banner-Herald, May 21, 2003
By Janis Reid

The Nuwaubians are a quasi-religious sect that combines elements of black empowerment, biblical themes and Egyptian polytheism, as reflected in the Egyptian carvings emerging on the facade of the building at 815 W. Broad St.

The Broad Street property was deeded in March 2000 to Nuwaubian founder Malachi Z. York – who brought a group of followers from New York in 1993 to create a compound near Eatonton in east Georgia’s Putnam County. Plans for the bookstore were received by the Athens-Clarke County Building Permits and Inspections Department in August 2001.

In January, York, also known as Dwight York, was sentenced to 14 years in prison after admitting in a negotiated plea agreement that he molested numerous children at the Putnam County compound and at his Athens mansion on Mansfield Court.

Last week, the contractors listed on the building permit for the Broad Street structure – Eatonton-based Nuwaubian General Contracting – asked the building permits department for permission to relocate an office in the building.

According to the site plan, half of the building is slotted for a customer section including bookshelves and tables, with the other side housing the office and a large open space for book storage.

Calls made to Nuwaubian General Contracting were not returned Wednesday.

Phillip Seagraves, assistant director of the building permits department, said it is unusual to have a building under construction for two years unless there is something holding up the project.

Seagraves added the building permit will remain current as long as the project does not go six months without progress.

Thomas Chism, owner of the All Eyes on Egypt bookstore and gift shop on Atlanta Highway, is listed as a contact person on the site plans filed with the building permits department.

But on Wednesday, Chism said he did not know anything about the progress of construction at the Broad Street location.

He did say, though, that once it is completed, he will be moving his bookstore into the building.

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