Orangeburg City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to spend $694,919 to replace the roof over Stevenson Auditorium.

Council awarded Charlotte-based Davco Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. the contract. The bid was the lowest of three the city received for project, which will begin in May.

The money will come from the $1.1 million in capital project sales tax money the city has set aside for the auditorium upgrade. The county’s 1 percent sales tax has helped fund a number of projects since being first approved by voters in November 1998.

The roof will have a 30-year warranty.

City officials have said Stevenson Auditorium is important to the city’s success and quality of life, and they have worked to address its needs. They say the building is not up to modern standards for quality performances or events.

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In addition to the roof, the 600-seat theater’s identified needs include carpeting, new lighting, a new stage, expanded lobby, new dressing rooms and new restrooms.

The city has already done some cosmetic work in the auditorium, including adding new paint and new lights.

The city also plans to expand event space at the theater once city employees move out and locate in the new City Hall, which is being developed in the former First Citizens Bank building at Russell and Broughton streets.

Councilman Bernard Haire asked if there is a way the city can put projects out for bids without having them based on engineer cost estimates.

“Maybe we could get something cheap done that would not match what we have put out there in the specs,” Haire said.

City Public Works Director Dean Felkel said no proposed numbers were put out for the contractors.

“This is based on quality of materials and based on the scope of the work. They had no idea what that number would be,” he said.

The replacement of the roof on the Stevenson is one of a number of projects the city is in the process of undertaking.

Others include:

• The redevelopment of the historic Railroad Corner at the intersection of Russell, Magnolia and Boulevard streets.

The plans include adding four-story, mixed-use development with ground-floor commercial and upper-story residential.

The estimated cost is $18.2 million, with an anticipated public investment of between $4.5 million and $5 million.

• The development of property at the corner of Chestnut Street and U.S. Highway 601 to serve as an introduction to the city. About $500,000 has been allocated toward the project from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

• A $7 million upgrade of the former First Citizens Bank building at Russell and Broughton streets into a new city hall

• A $1.1 million skate park at the Andrew Dibble Park near the Edisto Memorial Gardens that will include a pump track and food court.

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