Exclusive: Hidden Gems Found During City Hall Renovations

8:26 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - City hall is  140 years old and hasn't seen many upgrades. 

But with a  $600,000 renovation makeover the city has restored the chambers back to its historic status.

"What was going to be a six month project turned into a 15 month project," said David Knoche, General Services Director for the City of Columbia.

A year ago if you walked into Columbia city council chambers many would say it looked a bit bland.

It was not only bland, but it had peeling plaster, leaky ceilings and an old paint job.

"We decided to replace the historic plaster because it had a lot of water damage," said Knoche.

Knoche says when they were repairing the plaster they discovered a hidden gem if the roof of the building.

"Sometime in the early 30's it was covered up with ceiling tile and then back in the 80's they had a two foot ceiling square so we had two drop ceilings."

Now above council chambers you can see a sky light. The city also opened up some of the circle shaped windows that were once covered.

"Put it back to the way it was in 1870."

The chambers have had a technological upgrade as well. HD cameras are set up to stream council meetings live.

There is new carpet and new upholstery on the benches where citizens will sit.

"The building is some 140 years old and to be able to come back and have groups like we have working in here to restore it back to its original glory is very satisfying and I am very proud of the job everyone has done."

There is also a new production room, meeting room for council members to have executive session and upgrades to the buildings elevator.

There will be an official unveiling at councils meeting on October 1st.




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