New buildings in the works for Public Works

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The City of North Charleston is breaking ground on a new 42 million dollar public works complex.The complex on Vector Avenue will feature a 38 acre mutli-building campus to streamline public works functions.

"When the Charleston Naval Base closed, the City acquired off-base property at the intersection of Remount Road and I-26, where for years, a municipal court annex and several city departments operated," spokesperson Ryan Johnson said in a release Thursday. "Additional property was later transferred to the City by the US Air Force. After the completion of the new city hall in the fall of 2009, all city departments were consolidated, except for public works.{} The consolidation allowed for the demolition of the former annex, freeing a large tract of land for a new public works facility."

Public Works is currently located on Aragon Street in a facility built in late 1975.{}

Back then, it was near the center of the city with room for expansion but Johnson says after 40 years of growth the city has outgrown small, crowded facility.

"With our population now over 100,000, the replacement of our public works facility is long overdue," said Mayor Keith Summey. "The new complex positions North Charleston for the next fifty years of growth, and ensures that citizens of North Charleston receive efficient and cost effective services."

"North Charleston's Public Works Department has come a long way since its formation in the early 1970s," said Public Works Director Jim Hutto.{} "Starting with a used dump truck and a two man crew to fill pot holes, Public Works now employs nearly 200 and oversees a wide variety of services for the citizens and businesses of North Charleston.{} The new facility is ideally positioned to provide our employees the appropriate space to serve the people of our city."

North Charleston's Public Works Department is responsible for engineering, street and sidewalk maintenance, stormwater maintenance and utility, solid waste disposal, traffic signs and signals, landscaping, city facilities maintenance and repair, fleet maintenance, and construction contract administration.

The city approved a bond to fund the construction in June of 2012. Construction is scheduled to be completed in April 2015.