Sterett Hall gets one-year extension, stays open

Sterett Hall, located on the old Charleston Naval Base, lies in the path of a railyard project and will be demolished. The community center is the cultural hub for the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhoods. (Brad Nettles/Staff)

Sterett Hall, a public building on the old Navy base that was due for demolition this summer, will remain open and operational for an extra year, giving community leaders more time to find an alternative site.

The announcement came from Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, who asked Palmetto Railways for the extension. The railroad company is working on an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility that would require the end of Sterett Hall, but agreed that demolition could wait.

Thanks to a lease-free arrangement, the City of North Charleston will continue to manage Sterett Hall, which contains an auditorium and gymnasium.

“I applaud Palmetto Railways for agreeing to the one-year extension,” said Mayor Keith Summey in a statement. “The city of North Charleston will continue to staff the facility as we have done in the past.”

Sterett Hall’s large auditorium is used by schools, community artists, a Latino theater project and others. It is the only public, low-cost stage in the area. The gym, too, is well-used.

Kimpson pledged to follow through with finding another site.

“I will continue to work with the community, Mayor Summey and City of North Charleston officials to identify a piece of property and the construction of a new community center that will meet the needs of nearby neighborhoods, while enhancing the quality of life for the families who live in that part of North Charleston.”