A splash of color rumored to have caused some consternation downtown may be toned down to fit in with the district’s more sedate neighbors.
The building located at the intersection of South Main and Roper streets in downtown Laurinburg has been painted an eye-catching bright blue by its new tenant, the Scotland County Democratic Party. The headquarters officially opened its doors on April 14.
“I think it looks great,” said Jan Schmidt, the Party’s third vice-chair. “It looks really bright and cheery. It’s nice to have a building downtown that looks good and new and fresh.”
But the building’s facelift may clash with the plans of the Laurinburg Downtown Revitalization Corporation.
“Color schemes and a uniform look of our streetscape is one of the things we’ve been working toward for a long time,” said Jim Willis, LDRC chairman. “We want to work with our business owners and tenants to create a unified look downtown.”
Although there is no ordinance regulating paint color downtown, the former clothing store’s new hue is unlikely to match awnings already purchased by the downtown revitalization group. Many of the awnings are currently hollow skeletons hanging above several downtown door frames.
Party officials and the LDRC say they will work together to make sure that the headquarters is more cohesive with what already exists in the downtown area.
“I am delighted to say that we have cooperatively worked with the folks at the Democratic headquarters to coordinate the awning that we’ve purchased with the color of the building that is going to be redone to better match the awning,” Willis said.
“They’ll adjust it to whatever colors the city requires, but as of now there is no official color palette that has been approved by both LDRC and the city,” Schmidt added.
The building will be painted a more subtle shade in keeping with LDRC’s desired aesthetic.
“I’m excited about the cooperative spirit that those folks have shown – and I personally accept the responsibility for the lack of communication,” said Willis. “LDRC and I as chairman need to do a better job in communicating to anyone who is in our downtown what our adopted plans and what we hope to accomplish going forward.”
Kenton Spencer, the county Party chairman, who helped paint and renovate much of the building, remained mostly mum about the work done to the headquarters when reached Tuesday afternoon. He called complaints about the paint a “non-issue” on Monday.
Willis estimated that new awnings will be hung on downtown storefronts within the next two months.
“We’ll see some old signage removed in the next 30 to 60 days and we have a number of new improvement projects in the wings waiting to be implemented,” Willis said.