Simpsonville council selects $1.7 million bid for arts center renovation | Greenville Business |

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The renovation project to convert the abandoned school building in Simpsonville into an art center may begin soon.

The rendering shows the appearance of the proposed lobby of the Simpsonville Arts Center after the renovation.

The rendering shows the appearance of the auditorium of the abandoned auditorium after the building was converted into an art center. Provided by/Simpsonville City

The renovation of an abandoned school auditorium in Simpsonville is about to begin. 


The Simpsonville City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to hire Central Interiors Inc. to convert an abandoned school building in the center of the city into an art center.

New York City awarded the New York-based company a contract of approximately $1.7 million to overhaul the auditorium, lobby and exterior of the building. The company has an office in Myrtle Beach and submitted the lowest price among the eight bids the city has proposed for the project, which is approximately $500,000 less than the original estimated renovation cost.

Before voting on the contract, Lou Hutchings said: "I am very satisfied with the amount of this project."

City Minister Diana Gracely (Diana Gracely) said that this figure does not include the price of new seats in the auditorium, the fees paid by the municipality for the design or the cost of requiring special material inspections.

The project is still awaiting approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce, but Graceley told the board on Tuesday that the agency has 30 days to review the project, and she hopes they can get approval before that.

She said: "I hope they can do this faster, but for all the other things we have to go through in this project, this is not the case."

The building is located in downtown Simpsonville and was the site of Simpsonville Elementary School, which was closed in 2002. In 2019, Simpsonville received a $500,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Council for the renovation, and the city council hired a construction company to do the design.

Grace (Gracely) said that federal funding and the requirements set by the Department of State Archives and History have delayed progress, but work may begin soon. 

Follow Conor Hughes on Twitter via @ConorJHughes.

Conor Hughes is a reporter for the Greenville Post and Express

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Greenville, SC 29601


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