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Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation

 Craig Williams, Bob Ferguson, Renee Anderson, Doerte McManus and Mayor Riley

 Craig Williams, Bob Ferguson, Renee Anderson,
Doerte McManus and Mayor Riley



CHARLESTON, S.C., August 21, 2012 – City of Charleston leaders and the Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation gathered today in celebration of beginning construction of the new Gaillard Center. The climax of the ceremony was Charleston’s Mayor Joseph P. Riley pulling the lever that brought down a portion of the south canopy of the original Gaillard. With the restoration of the historic Dock Street Theatre and adaptive renovation of Memminger Auditorium, the new Gaillard Center will be the final piece in Charleston’s acclaimed arts infrastructure.

Financing of the $142 million Gaillard will be shared equally between the City of Charleston and private donors. The project will bring 1,000 jobs and an economic impact of $62 million during construction and 400 permanent jobs with an annual economic benefit of more than $39 million once opened. 

Scheduled for completion in 2015, the Gaillard Center is poised to become a neoclassical landmark and the heart of artistic, intellectual and civic activity in the city. It will be the new home of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, a venue for sustained arts education, state-of-the-art performance hall, 16,000 sq. ft. of flexible exhibition and banquet space, outdoor event lawn and municipal offices and is being built to Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) specifications.

“When this wonderful civic building opens after construction, it will be one of the finest, most beautiful, acoustically superior performance halls in America.  And it will be owned by the people of Charleston,” shared Mayor Joseph P. Riley. “It will provide memories for our children, be a testament to the skill and determination of Charlestonians and will mark the Gaillard Center as a remarkable achievement.  Gaillard Center is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“Charleston holds an important place on the world stage as evidenced by continuing recognition of her cultural, artistic and civic attributes,” explains Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation Vice Chair Renee Anderson. “Our community deserves tremendous credit for protecting and preserving this vitality, and will be proud of its grand endeavor  to make  the new Gaillard Center a reality.  Charleston will lay claim once again to her legacy as a City of the Arts.”

Among the audience members were Lead Architect Craig P. Williams of David M. Schwarz Architects and 35-year veteran Project Executive Bob Ferguson of Skanska USA, the construction company of the Gaillard. Skanska USA’s Durham, N.C., office will work with joint venture partner Trident Construction to renovate and provide construction services to the Gaillard Center.

“The Gaillard has served as an important platform for the performing and visual arts in Charleston for decades,” said Ferguson. “Skanska/Trident is honored to work on the construction and renovation of this project.  We plan to create a landmark for the city and help to elevate the arts center into a world-class facility that everyone can enjoy.” 


For more information on the new Gaillard Center, visit the Gaillard Foundation website at


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