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IMG_6996Welcome to Weldon, a state-of-the art 1093-seat facility that was originally built in 1954 to serve as the auditorium for Manning High School. Since then, the auditorium’s stage has showcased graduations, beauty pageants, talent shows, band concerts, school assemblies and community events for generations of Clarendon County residents and visitors.

In 1967, the auditorium was named Weldon Auditorium in memory of William Heathley Weldon, a former superintendent of Manning public schools,.

Although a fire destroyed the auditorium’s adjacent classrooms in 1984, Weldon continued to serve the community for more than a decade hosting a variety of productions and performances.

IMG_6987In 2004, the community launched a plan to return the once grand auditorium to its former glory. Four years later, a groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion project. On Dec. 3, 2010, a gala reception was held to unveil the new additions and the renovations to Weldon Auditorium, the cornerstone of the new Clarendon County Community Complex.

The Clarendon County Community Complex is comprised of Weldon with its Grand Atrium, Loggia and Art Corridor; the Clarendon County Community Center with its regulation sized basketball court, bleachers and dressing rooms along with adjacent classrooms; and the Breedin Room, a catering venue with an adjoining commercial kitchen. While the Weldon and Clarendon County Community Center are part of the Clarendon County Recreation Department, the Breedin Room is part of the Clarendon County Disabilities and Special Needs Board.

IMG_6966Keeping Weldon’s original architecture in mind, the design of the auditorium renovations and its additions reflect the architecture, style and colors of the mid-1950s.

The Grand Atrium’s spectacular 3000-plus sq. ft. addition welcomes attendees to Weldon Auditorium. The Atrium’s grand entry has hosted an array of events including receptions, industry announcements and most recently an exhibit from the Smithsonian Museum.

The Weldon Auditorium is a modern facility with technically advanced sound and lighting systems and a large screen for movies and presentations.  Two large dressing rooms are located at the rear of the stage. The floor seating welcomes 777 attendees while the balcony offers an additional 316 seats. And, for you dancing enthusiasts, there is plenty of room for dancing in front of the orchestra section and down the aisles.

IMG_6944A Loggia was added and is home to the Clarendon County Athletic Hall of Fame where dozens of local athletes are honored. The Loggia also serves as a wonderful location for small receptions and intimate cocktail parties.

The Weldon’s Art Gallery was also added in the renovation.  Since 2010, the Art Gallery corridor has showcased the works of several world renowned artists as well as numerous local, state and regional artists and artisans. Thousands of viewers have been delighted with a wide array of multi-dimensional artwork, including landscapes, portraits, pottery, woodworking and ceramic designs.

A convenient canteen is located in the Atrium.

As part of the Clarendon County Recreation Department, the Clarendon County Community Center hosts recreational basketball games.  A multitude of classes are held in the adjacent classrooms, including exercise, yoga and weight lifting classes plus sports education classes for golf and other sports. The gymnasium and/or the classrooms may be rented by calling the Center at (803) 433-0103.

The Clarendon County Recreation Department’s offices are located at J.C. Britton Park, 3057 Raccoon Road, Manning SC 29102. The park features several softball and baseball fields, a walking path, tennis courts, batting cages and picnic shelter. Two other parks also offer recreational activities: Taw Caw Park which is located in the Summerton area and the Walker-Gamble Park that is located near New Zion. A large gazebo located off Keitt Street hosts band concerts and other performances.  For more information on recreational activities, call (803) 473-3543.

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