RICHLAND COUNTY, SC — A blank wall on the back of the Staples building, facing Decker Boulevard, is going to become a huge mural.
Tuesday, Richland County Council gave preliminary approval to a funding plan for a 133-foot-long by 14-foot-tall international themed mural at 2744 Decker Blvd.
The county plans to invite at least three local artists to bid on the $10,000 project, which stipulates that the mural be maintained for six years the length of the agreement between the county and the buildings owner.
The county is setting aside money from its neighborhood improvement program for the artwork, which will provide a focal point along the corridor and convey the cultural diversity that has contributed to its international flair.
The 701 Whaley Arts Association and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties will help select the artist, though Councilman Jim Manning indicated the buildings owner will have input, too. The owner was identified as the Phillips Edison Group.
On a related matter, renovation of a strip mall on Decker Boulevard into a $21 million law enforcement complex could begin a year from now.
Tuesday, a County Council subcommittee asked the architect to make way for a larger community meeting space to be managed by the sheriffs department.
The change involves removing the Dentsville courtroom from the complex, at the request of chief magistrate Donald Simons. Simons told the committee hed like the district magistrate to locate nearby, but not hold court inside the complex.
The countys other district courtrooms are in standalone buildings, Manning noted.
The Decker Center complex is being divided about two thirds for central court functions and one third for the sheriffs district headquarters.
John Hixon, director of support services, said demolition of the interior of the building could begin in the spring, followed by construction a year from now. Architect Chris Beard with the Boudreaux Group said he would expect renovations to take 14 months to 18 months.
Reach Hinshaw at (803) 771-8641.