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Conway officials turn to public for advice on what to do with old post office

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - In downtown Conway, a historic gem has sat empty for a few year. Now, it's in the process of turning into something new. You may remember the building as the old Conway Post Office or, most recently, the Horry County Museum.

The old Conway Post Office on Main and Fifth dates back to 1935.  Conway Mayor Barbara Bellamy said figuring out what the building should be is a top priority for the city. There's 2,000 square feet of usable open space with room for about 150 people.  Mayor Bellamy says she sees the space as a gathering venue for locals and tourists.

"We will only be limited by the lack of imagination.  We want the space to be a source of pride for the city, for it to speak to what the city of Conway is, for it to be a gathering place and for it to be a place that you can come and visit often, and find it different from the last time you were in," the mayor said.

City officials have brainstormed the old post office to be a mulch-purpose venue.  Mayor Bellamy said she envisions a rotating local art gallery, a movable stage for local plays and performances and even a local hall of fame.  A new kitchen has been built inside and Conway Downtown Alive! is preparing to move their offices to the old post office.  The mayor says because the group is dedicated to tourism and the building will be renovated for locals and visitors, moving the offices there made sense.

The renovation comes with an expensive price tag.  Half a million dollars was budgeted for this fiscal year, but city officials said only $125,000 dollars of that will be used by June 30th.  $375,000 dollars will be re-budgeted for this coming fiscal year to complete the project.  Mayor Bellamy said every penny will be used.

The old post office is hoped to be as successful at the Peanut Warehouse and river front area refurbishment. 

"Just one more opportunity to bring people together, to develop a sense of community and to give people another taste of culture in our area.  We have been working and planning for ears on how to continue to do those things because as we grow and as we proper, the need of the citizens increases overtime," Mayor Bellamy said.

The old post office is one of several projects.  The building that previously was the public safety department is in the works of being turned in to a town square and home to the city's farmer's market.  

The city is looking for the public's help to decide the future of the old post office.  The meeting is Monday, June 20th at 5:30 p.m. in Conway's city hall.

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