Florence Civic Center reaches halfway point in $16M expansion

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – The Florence Civic Center has reached the halfway point in its $16 million expansion project.

Florence Civic Center leaders broke ground in early January on what will be a massive overhaul of the venue. During a ceremony Thursday morning, construction crews laid the final steel beam on the new expansion space, marking the end of exterior framing and major construction.

“The topping off ceremony symbolizes the final steel beam for the exterior major construction, and then after that, we will be moving into more of the cosmetics and interior design and then exterior ascetics,” explains Director of Marketing Florence Civic Center Nick Hooker.

The project will add more conference space and meeting rooms, allowing the civic center to host larger events than it was previously able. Officials say the Florence are missed out on big events because the venue simply couldn’t hold the projected number of attendees. The expansion changes that limitation.

“Major conferences and conventions, they bring in hundreds of thousands of people per event, over a week span, and the attendees shop local, they stay at the hotels, they go downtown, eat at the restaurants,” describes Hooker. “It is really just an economic booster for Florence and surrounding areas.”

Leaders say the project is ahead of schedule and they hope to be finished by early 2018, with a grand opening planned for the public to attend.

Thursday’s event featured a traditional “signing of the beam” in celebration of the construction benchmark.