Electrical system in Florence Co. Complex set for upgrades

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The Florence County Complex will soon undergo major transformations to keep daily visitors and workers safe.

The biggest concern is the possibility the old electrical system inside the building could cause a fire. On Thursday, county leaders approved nearly $90,000 to be spent to upgrade that system.

"Certainly, not only as a person that works in the building here every day, but as a fire chief I'm very concerned about an electrical hazard," said Sam Brockington.

Sam Brockington works in the County Complex and he's glad County Council is taking steps to keep a fire from destroying the building.

"So to have that addressed will produce a better degree of safety in this tall building," said Brockington.

And to fix the outdated electrical system - County Council voted to pay for the two projects to make the building safer for the dozens of people working In the 12 story building.

"What we are talking about is a life safety issue, of having a fire in this building," said James Schofield, Florence County Chairman.

"The main switch is now located in the basement of the building. You could have a flood in there and lose the 4,000 switch amp gear and this building could be out of businesses for weeks," added Schofield.

Basement space once used by city police to house the drunk tank and holding cells will soon be demolished to give more space for the electrical room. To remove these jail cells and knock down a few walls the county will spend more than $29,000. Another $60,000 will be spent to install a new main switch, which powers the entire building.

"We need to get this equipment; it's forty something years old. It's of a brand that is no longer made, there are no parts available for it, and it's known not to trip when you have a fault," said Schofield.

The entire building is in need of electrical upgrades. Due to the $1.5 million cost, those updates will be made progressively.

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