By Theresa Stratford for The Island Connection
Kiawah Island residents and visitors will soon have a new sign to welcome them as they enter the property, but it won’t be before the PGA Championship on May 20 as originally hoped.
That being said, the lost effort certainly wasn’t from a lack of trying.
At the April 6 Kiawah Island Town Council meeting, town public works manager Brian Gottshalk presented the information about the new sign. He said that he has been diligently working on estimates and trying to secure lumber for the new sign.
“We would want the sign completed by May 10. The sign company, SouthWood, would need us to source the lumber ourselves because they could not get it in on our timeline,” Gottshalk reported.
Construction and fabrication of the new sign from Southwood was quoted at $27,000. They quoted an additional $9,000 to source the lumber that would not come in before the PGA Championship. Southwood said that if the town could supply their own lumber, they could get the sign up by May 10.
The question posed by Council Member Maryanne Connelly was, “can we source the lumber in time?”
Councilmember Dan Prickett has been assisting public works with this project.
“It would be hard to get the lumber in time,” said Prickett who has been working with Southern Lumber & Millwork Corp. “The pieces are hard to find because of the unique size.”
Prickett suggested, and the rest of council agreed, that trying to rush and get the sign completed so quickly is not in their best interest.
“I think if we had more time, we could find a better quote than the $9,000 that Southwood quoted us for the lumber,” he commented. “I think we need a new sign, but not overnight.”
Prickett said that the current sign is about 50 years old and does need to be replaced, but by waiting they can also replace the smaller sign that the town owns at the second gate as well.
Mayor John D. Labriola concluded saying, “Even in the best of circumstances, I think this timeframe is just too short to complete this project without feeling rushed and stressed.”
Council agreed to make the current sign last a while longer by power washing it and making aesthetic improvements, like applying a stain to the finish, in order to “spruce it up,” as Labriola said, before the PGA Championship.
The landscaping around the sign is currently undergoing a total makeover and is set to be completed by the end of April, if not sooner.
“With the new landscaping it is going to look wonderful,” Labriola added.
The sign to be replaced is located before the main gate in the center island with the flag posts.