The Columbia County Commission acknowledged several local businesses selected by residents for excellence this year in building design.
Online voting ended Nov. 27 and commissioners Tuesday recognized winners of the eighth annual Community Pride Design Awards at their meeting.
“This is kind of a way to give back to the business community at the end of the year to kind of let the citizens choose their favorite buildings of the year,” said Columbia County Planning Department Manager Nayna Mistry.
The newly opened Belk in Mullins Colony Shopping Center took first place in the commercial category. Aspen Dental/Chicken Salad Chick, Chick-fil-A and Christian Brothers Automotive Evans tied for second in the category. Third place went to Culver’s of Grovetown.
In the Professional category, Augusta Smile Care in Evans won first place, Savannah River Dermetology in Evans was second and Family Dental also in Evans, came in third .
Dr. John Massey, owner of Augusta Smile Care, said the building design was a team effort.
“It was definitely a team effort from the blueprints from Patterson Dental to the architect, Chris Booker, to the builder, Duckworth Development. All played a hand in making it a success,” Massey said. ”I think it’s a great incentive to build in the community and in Columbia County and not only build, but build attractive buildings that will contribute to the overall community.”
In the Community Category, first place went to Parkway Elementary School and School for Arts Infused Learning took second.
In the landscaping category, Marshall Pines Alzheimer’s Special Care Center placed first and Whispering Pines Park of Evans in second.
Each year, the planning department selects a handful of non-residential projects newly built in Columbia County within the past year and divide them into categories in an online survey. Residents can then choose their favorites in each category with respect to character and quality of the development.
Mistry said the annual awards are used to promote and raise resident awareness of the different building designs across Columbia County. But Mistry said the ultimate goal is to raise the standards on building designs.
“We want the owners and the architects to be more responsive about giving better products so that over the years, we just get better and better.”
Correspondent Robert Magobet contributed to this story.