Florence Trust building still standing

The Trust building in downtown Florence, which is still standing almost a week after demolition was scheduled to begin.

Update 6/26: City officials say they are still waiting for detour signs to be delivered as of Thursday afternoon. They will need to install all the signage before they begin demolition on the building.

City of Florence Downtown Manager Ray Reich says they now have the permits needed to close the intersection of West Evans and Irby Streets to start demolition of the 97-year-old Trust building.

Reich said the city plans to put up signs to detour traffic and hope to start with the full demolition of the building by Thursday.

The demolition has been delayed for the past six days due to the permitting issue.

Crews were supposed to begin work on June 17 when Wofford Demolition and Construction realized they did not have the proper permits to close part of South Irby Street.

The permit is to protect the public from any debris that might roll into the roads.

Crews did begin to take down the brick façade off the building on Monday morning, but Downtown City Manager Ray Reich said that is not technically part of the demolition process and could be done without the permit.

Reich said they thought they would have the permit in hand by now. He added that once they do get the permit they will have to put up the proper signage about the road closure to detour traffic before they can begin demolition.

The city is clearing the site for Francis Marion University to construct its $15 million Medical and Health Sciences Complex in downtown Florence.

The roof of the building caught fire on May 29 but it did not do serious damage and did not impact the timeline for the demolition of the building.

The path for demolition was met with protests from two historic groups in Florence.

The groups argued that the Trust building is a landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

However, the Florence Design Review Board voted 6-1 to allow the city to tear down the seven-story skyscraper.

Construction on FMU's medical school is scheduled to start this fall. The medical school building will be three stories high and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.