By Bob Braddy
J.V. Martin Auditorium is getting a good going over to determine the feasibility of a renovation.
Padlocked for years because it was determined unsafe for occupancy, it is now getting serious consideration by a group of local citizens to evaluate what would be needed to make it usable again.
Last week, Dennis Ward, president of F.W. Architects, Inc. of Florence, and Albert Stephens, structural engineer of Mabry Engineering Associates of Columbia, met at the auditorium, along with officers of The Dillon Historic School Advocacy Group and District Two School Supt. Ray Rogers to begin the onsite evaluation.
The initial report was encouraging.
The building structure was found to be basically sound, there was access space for installation of plumbing, wiring and ductwork for a heating/cooling system, and space was available for rest rooms and a lobby at the front of the building.
Yesterday engineers came to determine what would be required to upgrade the wiring and plumbing and to install a heating and cooling system.
When the work of the architect and engineers has been completed, an estimate will be made of what the entire project would cost to make the building fit for use as a gathering place for community and school events.
Meanwhile the HSAG is working to put the auditorium and the old “white building: on the Historic Register.
The next meeting of the Advocacy Group will be held on Monday, September 20, at 6:30 p.m. at The Dillon Wellness Center.
All who have interest in this project are invited to attend.
By Bob Braddy