NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) The Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern suffered significant water damage to its first floor from storm surge during Hurricane Florence causing the center to close its doors for more than a year.
But now the $7.1 million project is complete.
With new tiles, carpet, and color scheme.
The closure has had a huge impact on the Convention Center and Craven County’s revenue.
Now that the center has reopened, city and county leaders are optimistic about the future.
NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) County leaders are excited about the opening of the convention center this fall. With phase one expected to be completed early October.
The flooring that was damaged during Hurricane Florence is now fixed and now crews are doing electrical work. Replacing lights and wiring.
Phase two is also in the works that will consist of expanding the veranda.
County leaders are looking forward to making the center better than before.
“The hope for this conversation center is that it’s just gonna be bigger and better than ever this is really a beacon In North Carolina in the conversation center world we have this great country facility here on the water and there are just not a lot of counties that have a facility like this so we are really proud of it” Said Amber Parker, Public Information Officer
Phases 1 and 2 will cost 7.1 million dollars. The first floor renovations are expected to be done this fall when the convention center opens up again.
Phase three is expected to happen later down the road. That phase will consist of building extra exhibition space.
The center is expected to open on October 15.
Florence floodwaters tore apart the wall outside of the New Bern Convention Center brick by brick, but county leaders said it is the inside that sustained the most damage.
Craven County leaders are working to make sure the New Bern Convention Center is better equipped to weather the next storm.
Craven County Assistant Manager Gene Hodges said they wrapped up eight weeks of floor repairs Friday.
The next round of repairs includes weather-resistant features in response to Florence’s devastation.
Amber Parker, the County Public Information Officer said the closure has taken its toll on local businesses who benefit from the business the center brings.
Hodges said they still need to replace the carpet, HVAC units, wall finishes and more.
The convention center is expected to reopen by the end of September and they are already taking bookings for 2020.