Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. on Wednesday proposed a $142 makeover of a city auditorium to create a world class performing arts center.
Riley unveiled plans for the Gaillard Center, a renovation of the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium used as a major venue for the internationally known Spoleto Festival USA.
"This is a special and historic opportunity - an opportunity we must seize," Riley told about 200 people gathered in the exhibition hall at the auditorium.
The existing auditorium is a '60's-era modernistic space that is underused, has poor acoustics and is too big for most performances staged there, Riley said.
He proposed renovating the space into "a world-class performance hall the likes of which don't exist in this part of the country." The auditorium would be reduced from 2,700 seats to 1,800.