A new destiny awaits for the Old Aiken Hospital. During Monday’s city council meeting, WTC Investments LLC presented their plan to the council-members and the public.
“Whatever we do here, I can assure everyone we’re going to be proud of it,” said WTC Investments LLC spokesperson.
“I think this plan probably checks more boxes as far in what the city needs,” said Mayor of Aiken, Rick Osbon. “And I think they did a great job of evaluating the needs assessments for Aiken.”
The firm is seeking approval from the city leaders to demolish the property.
“It was built to be a hospital pre-World War II,” explained Osbon. “It’s hard to repurpose it that is what several architects have said.”
WTC’s plan includes using the site as for a hotel, a connected conference center, parking garage, residential housing, and other amities.
“We’ve worked so hard for our downtown and the amenities to draw people here,” said Osbon. “The one thing we found out is people don’t necessarily want to stay in one place and have to drive 20 minutes for their convention space; which is what they have to do.”
Even though the mayor believes the move is a stepping stone in Aiken’s growth.
Some citizens are just not ready to say goodbye to the historic building.
“Demolishing the Aiken Hospital Nurses Building is a step in destroying the original finish, and unraveling threads of our shared pasts,” explained one citizen.
“Someone realized how important it was not losing the history those buildings represent,” explained another citizen.
June 10th’s meeting was the first official reading of the plan. City Council-Members have to approve two more readings before the plan can be implemented.