Mount Pleasant officially opened the doors on its new, $29 million town hall this morning, next door to the old town hall, which will be torn down and made into a community park.
Residents already were doing business Tuesday morning in the building, the new hub of municipal business east of the Cooper, as guests, business leaders and elected officials passed through a metal detector, crowded into the foyer and fanned out across the expansive council chambers.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Linda Page said that she was presiding over the opening and the ribbon cutting for the four-year project but that previous administrations, administrators and several mayors laid the foundation for today’s opening.
“A town hall project such as this doesn’t just happen,” she said, offering a nod to former Mayor Billy Swails, who first proposed building a new town hall, and to former town administrator Mac Burdette.
Project manager Lauren Sims, who serves as executive programs manager, said she grew up with the old complex on Ann Edwards Lane being her town hall. As a child, she ran track with Councilman Gary Santos as her coach and participated in the Mount Pleasant Police Department’s youth court program.
“We’ve never had a building that was primarily built as a town hall, until today,” Sims said, “and now we finally have a town hall that represents this community and will serve as a place where all the voices of Mount Pleasant come together and are heard and make decisions about who we will be as a community and what we will stand for.”
The design for the 92,000-square-foot building began in 2013; construction took two years. The town raised money for the project using tax increment financing and by issuing bonds.
Stubbs Muldrow Herin Architects Inc. and McKnight Construction Co. designed and built the new town hall. The building has three floors, with council chambers on the first floor, planning and building on the second floor, and executive and administrative offices on the third floor.
Mount Pleasant administrator Eric DeMoura said the town hall represents government in the hands of the people.
“This step, this dedication is the next step in a journey that began in 1837 when Mount Pleasant residents came together and decided to incorporate and pooled their resources to protect the general welfare of this community,” DeMoura said.