CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the funding source for Fayetteville State University's planned health and wellness center. The $5.5 million for the center was appropriated in the state budget this past summer.

The Fayetteville City Council voted unanimously Monday night  in favor of a memorandum of understanding with Fayetteville State University to build the city’s Senior Center East next to the school's wellness center..

The first step of the agreement will be to take part in a feasibility study on the projects. The study will be jointly funded by the city and university,  and is estimated to cost $60,000.

“Hopefully, the study will reveal that this is a win-win for the students and faculty of Fayetteville State University and the citizens of Fayetteville,” Mayor Mitch Colvin said. “I’m excited.”

The city is considering building one of its two anticipated senior centers next to the university’s planned health and wellness center at the corner of Murchison Road and Filter Plant Drive.

Residents approved the senior centers in 2016, after voting in favor of a $35 million bond package to improve park and recreation amenities.

The Senior Center East is estimated to cost $5 million.

Fayetteville State University’s health and wellness center will be built with $5.5 million the university received through appropriations in the state budget this past summer.

University Chancellor James Anderson previously told the Fayetteville Observer that he hopes the southern portion of Murchison Road will be transformed into an athletic corridor.

The council  also unanimously approved giving the city staff an extension to file its independent audit. The new due date for the audit is Jan. 20.

The state gave the city, which conducts an independent audit every year, until Dec. 18 to complete the audit. The audit is usually due Oct. 31.

City documents listed Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and “less experienced” staff as reasons for the delay.

“Most finance staff (are) less experienced than former staff and had never been through a complete audit cycle,” the documents said. “Ultimately, more time was required to manage the city’s grants and capital projects than normal, resulting in a delay in closing the books for the fiscal year.”

At the dinner meeting before the regular meeting, Councilman Larry Wright commended the Fayetteville Police Department for its work helping the homeless during the recent cold spell.

Many residents expressed concerns after a homeless man named Anthony Lynn Epps, 58, was found dead under the Person Street bridge on New Year’s Day. Several leaders of nonprofits that serve the homeless said they suspect  he died as a result of exposure to the cold.

Wright said he was told that officers picked up homeless people throughout the night during the recent cold spell and drove them to shelters.

“The police did a great thing,” Wright said.

Wright and a number of organizations that seek to help the homeless have scheduled a meeting at 12 p.m. on Wednesday at Operation Inasmuch on Hillsboro Street to discuss how to serve those who are homeless during extreme cold.

Staff writer Monica Vendituoli can be reached at or 910-486-3596.