$16M set for expansion of Florence Civic Center venue

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) - The Florence Civic Center plans to begin renovations starting this month.

Florence County and the city are splitting $16 million to renovate the facility.

Plans call for 300 new parking spaces along with a new kitchen space and additional meeting room space for conventions and conferences.

Florence Civic Center General Manager Kendall Wall says it is needed. 

"The association market is the largest and most of those are anywhere from 200 to four or 500 people for three or four days, but we have not been able to do that because we didn't have the breakout space, the little small space that they need to go out and have several different meetings," Wall explained.

Construction on the civic center will take up to a year to complete.

"We're looking at kind of a soft opening next January and then more of a grand opening probably in March of 2018," Wall added.

The cost for improvements will be paid out over 25-years and the money will come mainly from accommodations and hospitality taxes.

Wall says there will be more jobs available during this time too.

"Yes there will be more part time positions for sure as far as especially in our food and beverage divisions and operating divisions and as far as change overs and serving and as far as banquets and all of the things that come with the event," said Wall.

The general manager admits last year had its challenges with cancellations due to weather, but he hopes the improvements will bring in more money.  

"When you are hosting these type of conferences and large concerts, the name is out there, they are coming to Florence South Carolina for this particular convention for three or four days so your gaining that part of it as far as the marketing and advertising of your community," Wall mentioned.

The general manager says a new entrance will also be added with the renovations. He says this will allow people in the lower parking lot easier access to the civic center.

Count on News 13 to keep you up to date on renovations and improvements at the Florence Civic Center.

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