Watson Tate Savory's City of Columbia Water & Wastewater project received a prestigious AIA South Atlantic Region (SAR) Merit Award for Adaptive Reuse on September 16th, at the virtual awards gala of the annual SAR “Aspire” conference. The award was one of only 29 given in the region which includes Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The project transforms a former abandoned car dealership, on a brownfield site, into a LEED Gold facility with state-of-the-art sustainable features, such as a green roof and seven rain gardens.

The jury, chaired by Roberto de Leon, FAIA, remarked that "this transformation of a challenging site and its existing buildings is skillfully executed with a sense of restraint and economy imparting almost a civic sensibility to an utilitarian complex." Mr. de Leon is co-founder of Louisville, KY, based De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop. His work has garnered more than 30 national and international design awards and has been broadly internationally published.

This City of Columbia project is the third-only Columbia, SC, project to receive an AIA SAR award since 1959. WTS has received two previous SAR awards, for their own Columbia office and the renovations to South Carolina State University’s historic Lowman Hall.