Renovations to be ready by next year

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 19, 1999

Plans call for the two other components of the downtown convention center complex – the city auditorium and community center renovations – to be complete by next year.

Architect Johnny Waycaster of Waycaster & Associates said the city is taking bids for the work on the community center, but it will probably not be finished until next spring.

The community center will be located in the old Service Motor Company building on Franklin Street, across the street from the site of the convention center.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;(The building) will keep its character as a large, open space,&uot; Waycaster said.

Bathrooms and a small kitchen will be added to the building. A new electrical system and air conditioning will also be added, and the building will get a new roof, he said.

The post-World War II era Service Motor Company building once served as a Buick dealership.

Waycaster said that if the contract for construction work is drawn up in December, work will begin on the community center shortly thereafter, putting completion around April 2000.

In the next block, the city auditorium on Jefferson Street will also get a facelift, with a deeper, wider stage and an amphitheater style designed to seat about 1,500 people.

Waycaster said work could begin on that project as soon as next spring’s garden club-sponsored Confederate Pageant – the most significant renter of the building – is over.

The work would probably be completed before the 2001 pageant begins, Waycaster said.