Mt. Pleasant Mayor Linda Page cannot hide her excitement at the imminent opening of the new Town Hall, the first ever built for its purpose in the town's history.
It is also the largest civic capital improvement project in the town's history, encompassing the $29 million, three- story Town Hall; a double gymnasium costing $5.4 million; and other ancillary projects budgeted at $1 million. An official media day will take place next week, with staff beginning to move in within weeks.
"It is an exciting time because we have never had a true Town Hall, one that is effective, efficient and truly belongs to the citizens," Page told Palmetto Business Daily.
Whereas town services and personnel were previously scattered, now everyone will be together, Page said, making it "easier for citizens to navigate" and allowing town staff to better collaborate. All of the town's departments, the police department, two municipal courtrooms, and additional meeting rooms are a part of the 92,000-square-foot building. It also has a patio area for public functions.
A second phase of the plan is to demolish the gymnasium and build a double one, which Page said is "desperately needed." The track remains, but will be refurbished while an urban park is also planned as part of the complex.
The Town Hall itself is designed to withstand a major storm.
"The new Town Hall is built for the next 75 years,” executive programs and co-project manager Lauren Sims said in an interview this year with the Moultrie News newspaper. “Its open layout provides an economy of scale designed to maximize efficiencies. Both the interior and exterior designs reflect the surrounding natural environment and honor the history of our town. The exterior bricks mimic the historical bricks once manufactured in Mount Pleasant. The interior color palette and fixtures reflect saltwater marshes, Sweetgrass and other native elements.”
Page said it may be late summer before the facility is ready to host Town Council meetings.
"We have a delay, a couple of weeks," Page said. "We hoped to have our first Council meeting in July, but have put that off until August."