New awnings to give downtown a ‘face-lift’

By Rachel McAuley

July 7, 2014

LAURINBURG — With the hope of giving Main Street a “face-lift” and enticing potential business owners, the Laurinburg Downtown Revitalization Corporation plans to install new or improved canvas awnings over storefronts.

“We’ve been needing new awnings,” said Jeanette Herlocker, vice president of the corporation. “Some buildings have never had them.”

The East Coast Awning company, in Hamlet, will install the awnings above Hi-Lites, Elite Dance Academy and I.C. Beauty World, as well as two smaller, empty buildings across from Hi-Lites.

Herlocker said the corporation has spent about $8,000 for four awnings — two “skirts,” which will fit over existing framework, and two that will come with their own frame — from East Coast Awning. Though she’s not sure of the exact day, Herlocker anticipates they will be installed within the next few weeks.

Full-sized awnings must be installed “from scratch,” said Eddie Wilson, owner of the awning company. The two buildings that that have no existing framework — 205 and 206 on Main Street — will have a frame and cover installed above the door.

Wilson regards awnings as both aesthetically pleasing and functional, serving to keep the public and potential shoppers from direct contact from the sun and rain while keeping buildings cooler in the summer.

The colors chosen for the awnings will compliment “the color scheme of the buildings,” according to Herlocker.

The Hi-Lites and Elite Dance Academy buildings will sport new awnings that will stretch about 56 feet in length and will extend over the sidewalk.

“We’re replacing the cover with new colors and changing the heights of the sides a little bit,” Wilson said.

Because the awning for I.C. Beauty World will wrap around a corner, it will be 110 feet long, and project over the sidewalk around 6 feet on one side and 8 feet on the other. The awnings at 205 and 206 Main Street will both extend about 5 feet over the sidewalk and will be measured around 20 feet in length.

Funded by the city and given a certain amount each year to renovate the downtown area, the corporation also present outdoor events like the Art Crawl. Last fall, it funded a few paint jobs and renovations.

Herlocker said that the process of bringing the town back to life requires baby steps.

Rachel McAuley can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 15. Follow her on Twitter @rachelmcauley1.