CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†Another step was taken Thursday toward the completion of the $100 million renovation of the Charleston Civic Center when city officials cut the ribbon on the new Charleston Convention Center Grand Lobby.

Photo courtesy WSAZ-TV

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones cut the ribbon on the new lobby Thursday afternoon.

The two-story glass lobby faces Quarrier Street in downtown Charleston. It’s the second lobby to open as part of the project. The other lobby faces the Town Center Mall along Clendenin Street.

The civic center needed a major update, Mayor Danny Jones said.

“Quite frankly, it was starting to look like a regional jail and it doesn’t look that anymore,” Jones said Thursday.

The new lobby will get its first big crowd Friday night at the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert.

The rebuild started more than two years it’s included a new food service area, heating and cooling systems, additional meeting rooms and other amenities in hopes of attracting more conventions and other events.

The project is financed by the the city’s tax-increment financing district that includes a half-cent sales tax that’s collected to pay off up to $100 in revenue bonds.

The entire project is scheduled to be finished later this year.

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