The Oconee County Civic Center is more than a quarter-century old, and it’s starting to show, Director Shawn Wheeler recently informed the Board of Commissioners.

“We are having a difficult time adequately meeting the needs of the citizens of Oconee,” he said. “We have done a good job keeping the thing running, but it’s time.”

Whereas similar facilities in other counties undergo a facelift every six years, the Oconee Civic Center has never been fully updated, Wheeler said.

Several years, the BOC earmarked monies from the 2015 special purpose local option sales tax to add dressing rooms and storage areas to the Civic Center. Wheeler said that because of inflation and increased construction costs, he would rather put that project on the backburner and prioritize major infrastructure work.

The plan now is to spend $1.2 million in SPLOST funds to replace the HVAC system, boilers, lighting, theatrical rigging, weather stripping, insulation and flooring A request-for-proposal will also include an interior and exterior paint job, renovations of the bathrooms, upgrades to the concession stand and kitchen and improvements to the landscaping and parking lot.

For more on this story, see the Sept. 5 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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