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Story Archives: Construction begins on old post office
|Construction begins on old post office|
Work could be complete on a new museum as soon as Dec. 26, according to the contractors hired to convert the old Franklin Parish post office.
Winnsboro Main Street manager Kay LaFrance-Knight said the workers have laid out an ambitious schedule to complete all renovations in the building by the day after Christmas.
"That means we may actually be in the building in January," said LaFrance-Knight.
Once completed, the facility will be home to a museum which will house displays about area history, artists and special events.
In addition to the museum, the facility will boast a visitor's center and number of offices, including space for the Winnsboro Chamber of Commerce and the Winnsboro Main Street.
"It's going to be absolutely beautiful," LaFrance-Knight said.
Plans for the facility have been developing since 2001.
The project is being financed by some $450,000 in capital outlay from the state Legislature.
LaFrance-Knight said the money had been accumulating for several years and they "finally got the go ahead" to begin work.
One of the first challenges facing the contractors: safely removing decades worth of lead-based paints.
"There were a lot of paint issues in the building," LaFrance-Knight said.
Lead-based paints were used widely until the 1970's, when using lead in paints was outlawed because of the health effects of paints.
Lead paints exist in many old buildings and, as long as it is not disturbed, does not represent any immediate health threat.
However, because the old post office is undergoing significant renovations, removing the old paint is a necessity.
LaFrance-Knight said principal construction will begin as soon as the paint issues are dealt with.
"This is the real deal," she said.