The facade of Saluda City Hall received a round of renovations last year including regrouting of brick, new windows and new doors. (photo by Mark Schmerling)

Saluda City Hall renovations maintain historic appearance, improve safety

Published 12:53pm Friday, February 1, 2013

Efficiency and safety describe some of the recent and planned renovations to Saluda’s historic City Hall building, which dates back to the 1920s.  The facility’s traditional appearance is being maintained, and its structure strengthened.

Renovations to the building’s exterior were completed in November. At February’s scheduled city council meeting, members will likely vote on plans for the interior’s renovation and remodeling. City Administrator Erny Williams expects “lots of discussions on financing. Now, the architect can really attach some numbers to it.”

Plans drawn by architect John E. Gardner of Huger, S.C., include changes more noticeable to employees than to casual passersby. Currently, the police department occupies the west side of the building, while the city offices fill the east side.

“This (the current city office side) becomes the police department here,” Williams noted. “We’re swapping sides.”

This will give city officials more room in what is currently the police department.

Among improvements to employee safety will be two new inside openings between the two offices, to allow police officers faster access to any potential emergency in the city offices. One opening will connect with the city administrator’s office; the other with the main office. Traditionally, an emergency situation would require officers to exit to the sidewalk, and enter the front of city hall.

While renovations will provide more safety, architects “kept the hometown feel,” noted Williams.

A new, more efficient combination of heat and central air conditioning will replace the current temperature control system. Cooling has long come from a single window air conditioner. Renovations will also be made to the second floor.

Outside work has included a new roof, re-grouting and re-pointing of the brickwork, new doors to match the older ones and new windows (with traditional gold lettering).

Some of the metal columns (actually caps) have been removed to expose the brickwork. The brickwork now visible, had been covered with the caps.

Williams said that Jackson’s Painting performed all of the metal work, while Ralph Morgan did the woodwork.

Williams said he is “absolutely happy” with the work to date.

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