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Martha Dendy moving forward

Former school renovation is a Capital Projects Sales Tax project


A former elementary school in Clinton is scheduled to undergo a three-quarters of the million dollars renovation to become, potentially, a community center for the North Bell Street area.

The Martha Dendy project is one of 16 Capital Projects Sales Tax projects approved by a majority of Laurens County voters in the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election. The projects have been presented for updates before the County Council and, on April 25, it was the turns for Martha Dendy and the Historic Courthouse to present updates.

Construction managers said the Martha Dendy building has been surveyed and studied, and the next step is clean-out and demolition. Electrical and plumbing has been stripped from the abandoned building, the council was told. After the building is stabilized, a community group will brainstorm ideas for the building, ie senior center, tutoring for students, gym for free play. It cost $335,000 to get the building “dried out,” the report said, and the rest of $720,000 is for construction; the project includes  $36,000 for design and permits.

Martha Dendy is a 13,000 sq ft building. The City of Clinton removed and covered a pool from the site because it was deemed too expensive to renovate and maintain; now, the City Council is committed to building a new community pool at the Clinton Family YMCA.  

Martha Dendy is a $756,000 project, according to the Jan. 5, 2021, Preliminary Implementation Plan for the CPST posted on the Laurens County website - breakdown: $36,000 for design and permitting and $720,000 for construction. It is the #10 project on the 16-project list.

Also, the new Public Library for Clinton project is out for bids. The #2 most important project on the 16-project list, the library is a $4.3 Million project to be constructed on West Pitts Street in Clinton.

The Historic Courthouse Phase 2 of 3 renovation is the #3 project on the list, coming in at $3.55 Million. It is one of the most visible projects, since Mashburn Construction has enveloped the building in a covering and scaffolding in downtown Laurens.

Asbestos abatement has been done, the county council was told, and there will be some additional abatement on the roof. Demolition has started on the two porticos; workers pull back the traffic cones to the security fence to allow for as much downtown parking as possible during Laurens’ events.

At its second meeting in April, the County Council also heard a community request from Waterloo asking for an EMS station. It would reduce run times from Cross Hill, the presenters said. Council took it as information.


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