The structure that once housed First Citizens Bank in downtown Aiken has experienced a bit more activity in the last few weeks as crews begin to put the finishing touches on what will soon be the city’s Administration and Finance Building.
Crews laid down the pervious pavement in the parking areas of the building located at 135 Laurens St. S.W. at the corner of Hayne Avenue.
City Manager Richard Pearce said the pavement will take about two weeks to cure and asks that residents not walk or drive through the parking lot during that time period.
Pearce said that the porous pavement, which can also be found in parking areas on Park Avenue, will further reduce storm water runoff from going into Hitchcock Woods, which is the goal of the city’s Green Infrastructure program.
“We just saw that opportunity and thought that would better manage the storm water runoff in our historic downtown,” Peace said.
The city is repurposing the former bank building, which has stood empty for several years. The building is 12,300 square feet and three stories. The City Manager’s office and Finance Department will occupy that building.
The portion of the Municipal Building located on Park Avenue to be vacated by those departments will be converted into meeting spaces for public use.
Completed renovations include the removal of all asbestos, replacement of all the windows, the preliminary work on new heating and air-conditioning, plumbing, electrical and security systems, installation of sheetrock, construction of public restrooms on the main floor and an elevator upgrade to meet current code.
A drive-through for payments has also been completed.
Joseph M. Walker Construction Managers was contracted for the job.
Pearce said they still have some work to do including the striping in the parking lot, completing the payment counter, installing the wall coverings, putting down the carpet and a few other small items that are on the to-do list.
Pearce said they still plan to be in the new city building by the end of the year.
Council approved to advance a total of $1.5 million from the city’s reserve account in December to purchase the building and make renovations, which are all covered under Capital Project Sales Tax funds.
The city purchased the building for $750,000. An inspection from last year showed approximately $693,000 worth of improvements were needed.
The initial plan for the city expansion was to increase city operations by 50 percent, constructing an 18,000-square-foot, two-story building with an entrance either on Newberry Street or The Alley. The city purchased 0.2117 acres near the municipal building for a little over $930,000 in 2008.