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The Charleston Civic Center’s new lobby will open just in time for this week’s beginning of the West Virginia Boys and Girls High School Basketball Tournaments.

The city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday in the latest addition to the Civic Center, featuring a new entrance on Clendenin Street, an all-glass lobby and a new ticket office to serve the coliseum.

Architect Lloyd Miller spoke at the ribbon-cutting, saying the work completed during the Civic Center renovation’s first phase consisted of about 40 percent of the construction costs but only 25 percent of the square footage to be altered during the design-build.

The center’s parlor rooms also have been renovated and are now equipped with new technology.

In addition, the sanitary sewer was replaced, which carried a $3.5 million price tag.

“We had to do that before we started any construction work,” Miller said. “It’s completed, we’ve abandoned the old line and we’re ready to move forward.”

Several unforeseen change orders over the past several months have increased the renovation project’s total price from $89 million to $92 million. It’s scheduled to be completed in September 2018.

Civic Center Manager John Robertson said there will be some changes with regard to parking for the basketball tournaments over the next two weeks.

Visitors must buy tickets from the new ticket office in the Clendenin Street lobby. They also may be purchased in advance at Ticketmaster, Robertson said.

Visitors may still enter the building through the second-floor lobby, he said.

The Quarrier Street parking building will be open, as well as the garage at the Charleston Town Center mall.

Unlike previous years, the Lee Street parking garage will be reserved for Civic Center workers, news media and tournament personnel.

“We’re constrained this year because of the construction on the Lee Street service lot, which has been available for tournament personnel [in the past],” Robertson said.

The girls high school basketball tournament will run from Wednesday through Saturday. The boys tournament will run from March 15-18.

Reach Elaina Sauber at elaina.sauber@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-3051 or follow @ElainaSauber on Twitter.

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