Charleston closes Municipal Auditorium for now because of electrical, structural issues

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin has closed the Charleston Municipal Auditorium until further notice.

Amy Shuler Goodwin

Goodwin said she met with engineers Monday who highlighted life and safety concerns in the nearly 85-year-old venue.

Those concerns focus on electrical and structural issues, Goodwin said.

“We’re still evaluating and assessing but most immediate we shut the building down,” Goodwin said. “When you have a life and safety concern in any building that’s not only cause for concern but it’s cause for immediate shutdown.”

The city contracted with an engineering firm last fall to evaluate the venue. Goodwin said a final report is still a few weeks away but engineers brought her the concerning news as soon as they noticed the problems. She made the decision to close the building after a Monday morning meeting.

“Engineers are required when they are doing assessments and evaluation, if they find a life or safety concern that they immediately need to notify us which they did,” Goodwin said.

The Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center team will be working with promoters to reschedule events currently scheduled for the Municipal Auditorium.

Upcoming shows at the Municipal Auditorium will have to be moved. (Photo/MetroNews)

Goodwin said she believes there’s a future for the venue.

“What are the things that we need to immediately fix? Can we? What’s that going to cost us? As we look into the future, we know we need this facility. We know we can fill it. We know we can make money off this facility. What does reimagining it look like?”

Goodwin spoke highly of the Municipal Auditorium in her State of the City Address last month.

“We love the Municipal Auditorium,” Goodwin said during her speech. “She’s beautiful, but she needs help.”

The Municipal has grown in both age and revenue over the past few years. According to Goodwin, the auditorium has generated more than $2 million in revenue compared to the $400,000 it used to bring in annually.

Goodwin said she hopes the building can reopen soon but for now it’s closed.

“One thing is absolutely crystal clear to me, folks are not going back into the building until we can make it safe again,” Goodwin said.

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