Florence County Complex gets big time renovations

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A multi-million dollar renovation is happening in a building to improve its safety rating.

The Florence County Complex was rated as one of the worst municipal buildings in the U.S. last year.

In July, when the county was given the news, county council was not sure how it would pay for the upgrades.

Funding for this big project was found in the Penny Sales Project.

"The consultant said that this is one of the most dangerous courthouses they have ever visited," Florence County Administrator Rusty Smith said.

It's the message that is now fueling the $5 million renovation happening inside the Florence County Complex.

Last year, the county hired a consulting firm who gave the building a poor rating – 3.4 out of 10.

The mechanical, electrical and safety concerns surrounding the courtroom were just some of the issues brought before county council.

"The capital sales project is funding most of this construction and we feel that it is very beneficial and enhances this facility," Smith said.

Our cameras were given the first look at some of the updates going on inside of the 40-year-old building.

This is how council chambers looked it's in the process of getting a facelift, which will include a media room and new conference room.

"We're working on several renovations to try and take care of our most valuable assets of course our county employees and the general public," said Smith.

Florence County's Administrator, Rusty Smith said in the months ahead you can expect to see remodeling happening from the top floor down to the basement.

"Upgrade the system; we're looking at a back up 911 center in the basement. Also with the city leaving, a lot of the offices is being renovated."

The county also plans to house the backup Emergency 911 center in the basement of this building.

The lobby is also going to be renovated.

Renovations should be complete within the next few months.

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