Submitted by Alissa Collins
Rotary Club of Charleston
Our speaker, Mayor Joe Riley, was first elected Mayor of Charleston in 1975 and is currently in his 10 term. He has been called America’s most visionary public official. His visions for the future of the city continue as he summarized current and future plans:
Plans are nearing completion for a new African/American Museum to be built on a site between the Aquarium and the parking garage. The board of directors includes many national figures.
The Gaillard Auditorium is on schedule for completion in December 2014 with the first concert to be held in March 2015. 95% of the removed materials have been recycled and 30% of the workforce has been women and minority workers. The finished structure with a world class performance hall will have 3 million pounds of Indiana white limestone on its exterior.
The Horizon Project is being planned for open space between Fishburne, Spring, Hagood and Lockwood. It will include research facilities for MUSC, and have new streets and available space for innovative start-up companies.
People Matter, a renowned software company has completed its headquarters on upper King Street and plans a second facility on Morrison Drive, and area expected to become a digital corridor.
The Market Street drainage project is now 1/3 complete. Deep shafts will carry rain water away and a new streetscape with underground utilities is part of the overall plan.
The first phase of the Crosstown Expressway is complete with the second phase about to begin. It will include a 12’ tunnel that extends 120’ into the ground.
Three new Fire Stations are underway with a new central headquarters at King and Heriot Streets. This station will be equipped to serve as control of emergencies and disasters.
The Battery will be constructed as a 2.6 million dollar renovation gets underway. The first phase will include a temporary coffer dam to keep the water away from the construction. In the second year all new blue stone will be installed.
The Municipal Golf Course is the most heavily used in the state and will soon get a new irrigation system.
A new Water Taxi pier is to be built at Waterfront Park with an additional location planned when the relocation of the cruise terminal is complete.
Re-development is also underway at Midtown in the area of Spring and King, to include hotels, restaurants, apartments and retail stores.
The list of projects is impressive as is the continuing vision of Mayor Riley.