County building headed for the landfill | News | The Press and Standard

by | August 31, 2017 5:00 am

Last Updated: August 30, 2017 at 10:10 am

Last week, workers with John Crews Construction LLC started hauling away the county building on Benson Street that has stood for over six decades to clear the way for the future construction of the Colleton County Taxpayer Service Center.
Demolition on the two-story brick building — which had been home to the Colleton County Voter Registration and Election Office, the county’s Public Defender’s Office and the local office of South Carolina Probation, Pardon and Parole — began on Aug. 22 and by the end of the week, the building was down and workers continued the task of sorting through the construction debris and hauling it away.
The building, designed by local architect John Truluck, was constructed in 1950 as the new home for the health department. The size of the original building was increased by the construction of several additions.
John Crews Construction, which was given a $217,259 contract by the county to handle the demolition and disposal, has until late September to finish the work, according to John T. Stieglitz III, director of the county’s Capital Projects and Purchasing Department.
The three former occupants were moved to other locations and, in the time since the building has been vacant, it has been used by Colleton County Fire-Rescue for confined space rescue and search and rescue training. The building also underwent asbestos removal.
The Capital Projects Sales Tax proceeds listed the Taxpayers Service Center as one of the projects to be undertaken with the sales tax increase the voters approved several years ago. A total of $1.9 million was allocated to the construction of the service center. The cost of the demolition is part of that allocation.
The plans call for the service center to hopeful increase functionality and reduce wait times by providing a one-stop location for county operations that have the most interaction with the general public: the auditor, treasurer and tax assessor offices.
According to County Administrator Kevin Griffin, the new service center will be built where the demolished building once stood. The razed building was approximately 7,000 square feet — the new building is expected to be the same size.
Originally, the county planned to build the Taxpayer Service Center as an extension of the existing 38-year-old Harrelson Building. The extension would have been constructed in the area that now serves as a parking lot for visitors to the Harrelson Building.
That plan was scrapped when it was determined that constructing the building in the parking lot would have required the rerouting a variety of water and sewer lines buried under the site, substantially increasing the construction’s cost.
Stieglitz said that work on the design work on the service center is on-going. He anticipates it will be a year to 18 months before the county is ready to begin seeking bids on the construction project.

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