NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - People living in North Charleston will have easier access to discuss public works problems in the city once a new complex opens in June.
Those employees handle projects including road construction and signage. The current public works department in North Charleston is a small building towards the outskirts of the city.
The new location, off Remount Road and I-26, means easier access to managers who handle everything from stop lights to problems with roads, according to Jim Hutto, Director of Public Works for North Charleston.
"The location is pretty central to the whole city of North Charleston," Hutto said. "It gives us a 360 degree access to all our residents, and we feel we can provide quicker and more efficient services."
Efficiency is the key word. Census numbers show over 6,000 people have moved to North Charleston in the past three years. This boom is a major reason for the new site.
"The city is growing tremendously. This will allow us to have future expansion, future equipment, future folks," Hutto said.
The front of the building is open to the public -- making it easier to discuss issues with trash pickup, landscaping problems and preparing for hurricanes.
"There are conference rooms that the public can use. The approach to how the customer service of the public works, we gave a lot of consideration to that, and how they'll be greeted at the front," principal architect Charles Muldrow said.
One of the major conceptual ideas for this complex was to incorporate as much natural sunlight as possible. The buildings have several windows to help make that design a reality.
Designers say there's also a more friendly and welcoming sight -- one that will support the number of people moving to the area in the future.
"There will be more demand for services, new programs, expanding existing programs. We're ready," Hutto said.
The $42 million project is expected to be completed by the end of April and fully functioning in June.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is expected to be held on June 12 marking the 43rd anniversary of the growing city.