Attorney has only good memories of massive music fest

Richard Rosen was one of more than 400,000 revelers at Woodstock.

NORTH CHARLESTON - Ground-breaking for the $18 million overhaul of the North Charleston Coliseum is set for Friday, and officials say there will be next to no interruptions in parking, seating or the entertainment line-up until the project finishes in October 2011.

The 12,500-seat Coliseum, now in its 17th year of operation, is seeing its first major overhaul, largely in the form of two add-ons.

In a nutshell: two extensions are being added on the Coliseum’s North and South sides that will add 30,000 feet of space for events deemed too small for the adjacent Performing Arts Center. Those possibilities include smaller-draw musical artists, comedy shows or catered receptions.

Elsewhere in the building, more ticket booths will be put in, a larger concession area that will allow for a bigger menu variety will be added and the luxury suite areas will be upgraded so they are comparable to an NBA-caliber arena, officials said.

But the biggest push is to create two expanded food courts where a wider menu of food will be available and adding 40 points of sale. A larger kitchen will allow for grilled and baked foods, while sushi, local barbecue and micro-brew beer are some of the add-on possibilities.

Mayor Keith Summey said the seating capacity for the Coliseum is more than adequate for the Lowcountry-area market, and that the upgrades are designed more as a means of keeping the building and amenities current.

“What we are doing is giving 20 new years of life for the product that is there,” he said.

Check back Sunday for more, including a video showing the renovation.