Colleton County is planning to submit a request to the South Carolina Department of Commerce/Grants Administration Division on August 18 for the release of Community Development Block Grant funds to tear down the Floyd Buckner building.
The downtown building served as the Colleton County School District headquarters for many years until Forest Circle Middle School was closed in 2012 and the district renovated that property and moved there last year.
The Floyd Buckner building had been vacant for a while and only contained some furniture and files that were stored there. The EF-1 tornado that came through Walterboro on April 13 severely damaged the back of the building. The structural integrity of the 20,000-square-foot brick, concrete and metal building was compromised, creating a hazard to the community.
The front side of the building sits adjacent to the sidewalk on Jefferies Boulevard and West Washington Street, but the rear of the structure is several stories tall and in danger of collapsing.
Colleton County has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment, but the building needs to be demolished before it collapses.
According to Kevin Griffin, county administrator, there are no plans to replace the building. County Council is considering a green space once funds become available, hopefully this fall.