CCWSA is nearly done with its renovations to the circa 1970 landmark on West Main Street, which will be the authority’s customer service center, and if all goes according to plan, it should easily make the target opening date in February, said Dan Carson, construction design and inspection coordinator at CCWSA.
Carson said Friday the projected $1.157 million construction project also looks like it will come in under budget.
“We’re very fortunate,” Carson said. “It’s been uneventful. It’s been a lot of good work so far.”
The Water Authority purchased the two-story, 1,600-square-foot building in 2012 for $1.05 million after the last owner, Regions Bank, moved out in December 2011.
Carson said, so far, the construction crews are making more and more headway all the time, installing all new windows and doors, making over the facade on the outside of the building and gutting the inside for new offices.
“The interior I would say probably is overall about 80 or 90 percent complete,” Carson said.
Once the construction is finished, CCWSA plans to move about 60 of their employees to staff the center, which Carson said will be more easily accessible than the authority’s other location.
“We think it’ll be a really good convenience for the customers, easier for the customers to find,” Carson said. “We’re all very excited to get it open.”
For CCWSA, part of what will make the new location easier to find is its spot in downtown Canton, where it will be more visible than the present location, which is just down the street on West Main and will remain in use.
Water Authority representatives have also said they hoped the new location sitting squarely in downtown would help Canton’s center see a little bit of the foot traffic from its heyday.
Mayor Gene Hobgood sees it doing just that.
Hobgood said although it was a setback for downtown when the developer planning to buy the Jones Building pulled out, the Water Authority is still going to help bring people downtown, even though the old office is just down the street.
“It’s going to bring them up the hill there to the dome of the city,” Hobgood said. “They can just walk to the hoagie shop and get a sandwich.”
But in general, the mayor said he sees things improving downtown.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” Hobgood said. “There’s so many things going on at the Arts Center. There’s something going on just about all the time at the theater.”
As far as the Jones Building goes, Hobgood said he knows Cherokee County, which owns the building, will find a buyer eventually.
“The sooner the better, though, because I feel like that’s the key to success downtown, kind of the cornerstone,” he said.