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July 26, 2010

New DNR Florence hub office opens to the public

The new S.C. Department of Natural Resources hub facility opened to the public. The new facility is located on South Evander Drive, adjacent to the Francis Marion University campus.
The new 8,800 square-foot multi-use facility will enable the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to better interact with customers and offer more services and training. The new facility will be one of four DNR office hub locations across the state. The Florence facility will offer recreational licenses, permits and tag sales along with watercraft registration renewals, duplicate watercraft decals, duplicate registration cards and duplicate outboard motor decals. The other offices are located in Columbia, Charleston and Clemson.

The new office, as part of DNR Region II, will serve York, Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Kershaw, Lee, Chesterfield, Marlboro, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Marion and Williamsburg Counties. The facility will house offices for three DNR divisions including Law Enforcement; Land, Water and Conservation; and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. The new facility also features a 1,250-square-foot auditorium for on-site hunter and boater education classes and a DNR hunter and boater education coordinator.

The building features many "green" elements, including energy efficient lighting, day-lighting, efficient water fixtures, low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and adhesive and an all-inorganic exterior for sustainability and low maintenance. Builders also have recycled job site materials throughout the construction phase. Bobbitt Design Build of Columbia began site work in late October 2009.

DNR has also entered into an agreement with Francis Marion University so staff from both institutions will have equal access to labs and libraries and other facilities.

It's part of an effort that began back in 2003, as a means of consolidating 17 small field office locations offering limited service options. DNR implemented the regional hub system, opening larger, more efficient offices with expanded services in Florence, Columbia, Charleston and Clemson. The consolidation saved money in facilities management and utility bills, improved internal agency communications, and improved user friendly service operations for the general public.

The S.C. Natural Resources Board is expected to formally dedicate the new facility in a ceremony on Aug. 12.

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