A building falls so new courthouse can rise
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
The building at North Main Street and Fountain Street had a lot of lives, but now it’s giving them all up to make room for the new county courthouse building. Wofford Demolition of Florence last week began tearing down the one-story building first constructed in the 1960s. Shadows of lettering on a sign in front indicated it was a medical-supply business, but it played other roles, said City of Darlington spokeswoman Lisa Chalian-Rock. “Most recently, it had been a hypertension and diabetes clinic, and a church before that,” Rock said. “It has been a number of things.” The building also had a mural of Christmas trees painted on one side, and Rock can explain that as well. “Charles Bailey and I painted the Christmas-scene mural on the wall when Mayor (Curtis) Boyd was first elected, knowing it would be demolished to make room for the new courthouse. It was just a temporary mural to serve as a backdrop to the giant Santa and other decorations Curtis installed (for the holiday).” After the building’s gone, some trees will still need to be cleared from the land where the new courthouse will be located. FBi Construction of Florence has been awarded a $15.4 million contract to build the county’s new courthouse/judicial center in Darlington. The facility, 33,000 square feet, will include a large courtroom on the first floor and smaller courtrooms on the second. The county expects a 16-month construction period. The county’s famed cube-shaped courthouse won’t be demolished. It will be used only for county operations, not any judicial business.