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Historic Anderson County textile mill to be redeveloped after funding boost

Jason Thomas //May 22, 2024//

Initial redevelopment plans at the Chiquola Mill site call for a gymnasium, a large park with a themed playground and misting stations, extensive trails and a residential component. (Rendering/Studio Main)

Initial redevelopment plans at the Chiquola Mill site call for a gymnasium, a large park with a themed playground and misting stations, extensive trails and a residential component. (Rendering/Studio Main)

Initial redevelopment plans at the Chiquola Mill site call for a gymnasium, a large park with a themed playground and misting stations, extensive trails and a residential component. (Rendering/Studio Main)

Initial redevelopment plans at the Chiquola Mill site call for a gymnasium, a large park with a themed playground and misting stations, extensive trails and a residential component. (Rendering/Studio Main)

Historic Anderson County textile mill to be redeveloped after funding boost

Jason Thomas //May 22, 2024//

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A federal grant will allow for the cleanup of a historic textile mill site in Anderson County.

The town of Honea Path has been awarded a $2.65 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for environmental remediation and cleanup efforts at the historic Chiquola Mill site, according to a news release.

The funding was awarded under the auspices of the Federal government’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) of 2021, the release stated. Honea Path is one of only 35 cleanup grant recipients in the Southeast, and the grant amount awarded to the project is the fourth highest in the region.

Cleanup efforts will be supplemented by a $1 million redevelopment site grant from the state of South Carolina sponsored by state Sen. Michael W. Gambrell, R-Anderson, and state Rep. Jay West, R-Anderson, according to the release. Anderson County is serving as a project partner and is providing technical support and other resources toward the redevelopment effort.

“This is a monumental day for our town and our community,” said Honea Path Mayor Christopher Burton said in the release. “Almost all of our residents have ties to the Chiquola Mill, and we are committed to helping the site become something that will help Honea Path usher in a new era of prosperity.”

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According to Stantec, the site’s environmental consulting firm, cleanup activities will include removing approximately 10,750 tons of asbestos-containing materials found in debris piles and the remnants of onsite structures. It will also include removing approximately 6,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil. In the area of soil removal, a demarcation barrier will be installed, and the area will be backfilled to grade with 1-1.5 feet of clay and 0.5-1 foot of topsoil.

Initial redevelopment plans call for a gymnasium, a large park with a themed playground and misting stations, extensive trails and a residential component.

“Honea Path is a very unique, very resilient community with some of the best people you’ll find anywhere,” said Anderson County Councilmember Cindy Wilson in the release. “I am so proud of them today — they truly deserve to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Chiquola Manufacturing (later Springs Industries) developed a textile mill on the property in the early 1900s, according to the release, with operations including spinning, carding and weaving. It remained the town’s largest employer until its closure in 2003, and it provided work for thousands in the region over several generations, the release stated.

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