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      Wednesday
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      A new crown jewel for Columbia

      If you've been anywhere near Main Street recently, you've probably noticed the construction project going on at the Sheraton Convention Center, which is right across from the Sheraton hotel.

      And if you've been a little curious as to what's going on inside, you're not the only one. The Sheraton was kind enough to give me a backstage tour so that we could all see what we can expect when the project is finished.

      Inside the convention center is a flurry of activity as workers restore the building to its original, turn-of-the-century beauty.

      The building used to be a bank and even though there is a lot of noise and dust right now, what can we expect to see when it's all done?

      "Ballroom space - true ballroom space. Long chandeliers. True to era...circa 1913/1914. We'll have a modern chic feel to the top floor, where we'll have some exposed ceiling and more modern atmosphere. The main floor will be all the original tiles. And we'll have the original vault located on the same level." says Jennifer Bolling, the Director of Sales at the Sheraton.

      And it's this kind of restoration of Columbia's historic buildings that allow the city's beauty to shine through.

      "As we've seen through many of the restorations of old buildings in Columbia, they become jewels for the city. The Vista would not be the Vista without the restored buildings. 701 Whaley -I would point to that as an excellent example. And many of the buildings along Main Street. And we're excited to see what the Sheraton Convention Center has to offer in that realm as well." states Carrie Phillips from the Historic Columbia Foundation.

      And if you're wondering when this exciting project will be complete, it turns out you won't have to wait much longer.

      "We project phase one to be ready by early November and phase two early December. And full completion by January one of 2014." concludes Bolling.