Trust building starting to come down

Crews knocking down a portion of the roof of the 97-year-old Trust building

Crews knocked down a portion of the roof of the 97-year-old Trust building Monday, as they work to demolish it.

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

Crews removed the brick facade from building over the past two weeks while they waited for a permit from the South Carolina Department of Transportation to detour traffic.

Crews expect the building to be down in another two to three weeks.

The demolition is costing the City of Florence about $400,000.

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.