MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Myrtle Beach now has more time to expand the city convention center.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported (http://bit.ly/16B4pfn) that the city received a $7 million state grant in 2005 to buy 40 acres for expansion of the center.

The money was contingent on work beginning within five years or being finished in decade. City officials say the Great Recession slowed the project.

Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill last week giving the city five more years to complete the work, meaning the 100,000-square-foot expansion would have to be finished by 2020.

The city envisions an indoor sports facility to compliment the convention center, allowing it to draw larger groups to town.

City officials say the extension shows how much Myrtle Beach tourism means to the state economy.

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Information from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/