Investing in the future
January 24, 2018
The Aiken Chamber Centennial Project - a major investment in the future of the Aiken Chamber to align the 20-year-old building’s design and function with the needs of future Chamber members is now complete.
The interior of the Aiken Chamber building underwent modifications in the last quarter of 2017 to become the hallmark piece of the Aiken Chamber’s Centennial Celebration in 2018.
The building was constructed in 1998 and served its members and the community well, but it was time for updating and preparing for the next 20 years.
“We are continually asking the business community to invest in Aiken and to look at the wants and needs of the next generation,” said Charlie Hartz, Dunkin’ Donuts of Aiken and the Aiken Chamber Board Chair when the discussion began in 2016. “It is only fitting that the Chamber lead the way and practice what it preaches.”
The process began with three strategic input sessions with key stakeholders. These were conducted by Randy Wilson of Community Design Solutions and included input from members of the Chamber Board, staff, young professionals and Chamber members.
The need to improve the building’s flexibility and openness as well as the desire for updated finishes and décor, improved technology and making the space more inviting for visitors were all at the top of each group’s recommendations.
The next step was designing the space. The Chamber looked to its interior design members and asked them all to come view the space together and listen to feedback from the previously convened groups.
Nandina Home and Design and Material Things were the two businesses that attended. During the meeting, the idea of having to pick one design team over another was discussed. This is typically an uncomfortable situation, but not with these business owners. Susan Victor, Sue Shannon and Katy Lipscomb all looked at each other for a brief moment and in true Aiken fashion said they would simply work together on the project.
The process started in mid-September and was completed on-time and under budget by the design team and by the contractor, J.E. Stewart Builders, Inc.
Raving reviews have been received on the fresh new look, and the Chamber is excited to present the new facility to its members and to the community.