The Orangeburg County’s Buildings and Grounds Department says it’s working non-stop.

“We have a great department. We have a great team. It takes everybody,” department Director Tim Seagraves told Orangeburg County Council during a retreat last month.

Over the past two years, the building and grounds department has completed or been working on $14.5 million in capital improvement projects. Those include building renovations, county park improvements and remodeling projects.

The $14.5 million includes the county’s larger projects and does not include all of the projects the county has ongoing or has recently completed.

The largest single building renovation project – about $4.9 million – will be the renovation of the former State Theatre and soda shop at Orangeburg’s historic Railroad Corner. It will become the home of the Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum.

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The county will help refurbish the buildings with about $1 million from the capital project sales tax. The county has partnered with the City of Orangeburg on the project.

The tentative groundbreaking for the museum is scheduled for June 2024 with an estimated completion by the summer of 2025.

The museum is a part of a larger revitalization project planned for the corner, including student housing, retail and dining establishments.

Other projects include:

• Two-phase domestic violence shelter renovation project: $2,132,606

“We are hoping to be done by the spring of this year,” Seagraves said. “It has been a daunting process.”

The project started in March 2023.

Seagraves said the plan was to get both phases done, but there was a shortage of funds that required the project to be spread out over two phases.

The project has entailed asbestos removal, demolition of the first and second floors, interior renovations, new HVAC and electrical system, new plumbing, new metal roof, new fencing, new generator, new appliances and furnishings.

“It was a major, major, major overhaul of that building,” Seagraves said.

• Unity Road Community Center construction in Holly Hill: $1,410,777.

Seagraves said a building – a former schoolhouse – has been demolished and asbestos was removed to prepare for the new 6,000-square-feet, pre-engineered steel building that will serve as a new community center.

The project has been delayed somewhat and more updated drawings and engineering documents will be forthcoming.

In addition to the building, the property will include a community garden.

“We had some issues going back and forth,” Seagraves said. “We wanted some basketball courts there and some other amenities. We may have to kind of adjust that.”

Seagraves hopes the project will be finished by the summer of 2024.

• Law Enforcement Complex renovations phase 1: $1,250,050

The project will renovate the county’s entire law enforcement complex. The old courtroom will be turned into office space and meeting and training rooms.

The project will include the addition of new offices, flooring, heating/ventilation and cooling systems, generator, ceiling tiles, plumbing fixtures, paint, bathroom partitions and electrical panel upgrades.

The completion of the project is expected to be in December 2024.

• New coroner’s office: $767,127

The project included the demolition of the old detention center’s kitchen for a new coroner’s office. The project was completed in June 2023.

The project included interior renovations, new HVAC systems, the reuse of the kitchen’s existing walk-in freezer and cooler, the replacement of refrigeration equipment, electrical system upgrades and the installation of new surveillance and access control systems with automatic doors.

• Courthouse demolition: $450,331

To pave the way for the new downtown courthouse, the county demolished the former Russell Street Winn Dixie; the former Thunderbird motel on Orange Street, behind Dairy-O; and the Palmetto Inn and Suites on John C. Calhoun Drive.

In October 2023, the county also approved the purchase of the A-Town Wings restaurant building and adjacent parking lot. Legal real estate hurdles have prevented the county from being able to purchase it.

“The owners of A-Town did not inform us that the people who run A-Town Wings have the right of first refusal,” Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said. “They triggered the right of first refusal and actually bought it from the owners, so now we are either going to have to either try to buy it from the current owners or do imminent domain.

“We are in the process of seeing how that will change our design before we bring that to you.”

The county may also seek the purchase of the former NAPA Auto Parts store on Doyle Street. NAPA moved to a new location on John C. Calhoun Drive.

The county continues to wait on an architectural firm and a new drawing for the new courthouse. The plan is to begin construction in the coming years.

• Norway Senior and Community Center: $235,328

The new senior and community center are located at the former fellowship hall and sanctuary of the Norway Baptist Church. The senior center is located at 5008 Norway Road and the community center will be located at 5004 Norway Road in the church.

The renovations include: new flooring, new HVAC systems, new lighting, new exercise rooms, new warming kitchen, painting and handicap-accessibility improvements.

The community center will also serve as the voting precinct for the town of Norway.

• Orangeburg YMCA Aquatic Center Improvements: $107,863.20

A number of renovations are needed for facility. These include:

Group exercise and gymnasium floor refinishing: $24,352.88

New community room flooring: $18,625.16

Bowl slide rehabilitation: $46,992.16

Gym divider curtain: $17,893

“You are starting to see a lot of wear and tear,” Seagraves said. “These water parks will cost money and they will cost more money down the road.”

“It is a very expensive endeavor to upkeep these parks,” Seagraves continued. “It is a totally different ballgame. It is very involved.”

• Goodland Park, Springfield: $93,400

New fencing has been completed at the ball field at a total cost of $86,400. Lighting was also added at a cost of $7,000.

• Harmon Park improvements: $88,480

The improvements include new playground equipment and a new pavilion metal roof.

The project is expected to be complete in the spring of 2024.

• Gaillard Park improvements: $85,028

The improvements at the park include new playground equipment, new basketball goals and asphalt courts, new bleachers, painting of existing playground equipment, and new ceiling fans and outlets for the pavilion “to make it more convenient for the community,” Seagraves said.

• Orangeburg Area Development Center: $11,815

The project entailed new flooring in the center’s gymnasium.

• Wolfton Community Center: $5,350

The project entailed the placement of a new fencing on the property.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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