Feb 18, 2017

Pace to quicken on Florence Civic Center expansion

FLORENCE, S.C. – Officials involved with planning of the $16 million expansion of the Florence Civic Center took a look at nearly finished design plans of the project on Friday afternoon.

Ground preparation is almost complete, and foundation and concrete pouring isn’t far off.

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John Miller, construction manager for Thompson-Turner, the group heading construction of the expansion project, said construction will begin to move at a more rapid pace in the coming month.

“We’re working to get basically all of the structural materials of the building here between the second week of March and first week of April,” he said. “We’ll, hopefully, get that erected by the third week of April. Then we’re looking at roofing and shooting for dry-ins by the end of May or first of June to start interior work.”

Miller said it’s an optimistic plan that’s subject to delay, but Civic Center officials are excited about the prospect of quick construction.

“It is a very aggressive schedule but we feel good about it,” said C.B. Askins Jr., chairman of the Civic Center Commission. “If you don’t push it on the front end, you won’t have it completed on the back end like you want. The changes are good and we know it’s going to look good. We’re excited about it.”

The expansion will add 28,000 square feet to the civic center—which includes 8,000 square feet of subdividable space, 5,000 square feet of new kitchen space and 12,000 square feet of lobby and meeting room space.

A new paint job and color scheme are on the way as well.

Florence Civic Center General Manager Kendall Wall said that with plans nearly final, the public can expect to see real progress soon.

“We’ve gone through several revisions with the architect and the construction manager, both, and I think we’ve found a look that’s professional but fits in with our community as well,” he said. “We’re happy with the color scheme and the layout. Now we’ll start to see more of the physical aspects of construction.”

Officials said the tentative open date for the expansion is January 2018.

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