Lexington’s Old Mill Pond Dam will soon be completely replaced.

The dam, burst during the historic Midlands flood in October 2015, has been under construction since 2020, and is now expected to be completed within the next two months, according to Laban Chappell, owner of the Old Mill shopping center and the dam next door.

He told the Chronicle that the roughly $2 million restoration was originally scheduled to be completed in the spring of this year, but issues with COVID-19 and weather delays have caused construction setbacks.

According to Lexington City Administrator Britt Poole, the dam should look almost exactly like it did before.

Chappell said that despite looking the same, the dam will be very different from the previous one, being completely dug and rebuilt with heavy, compacted earth and vertical concrete mats that will serve as reinforcement.

Chappell said there will be routine checks on the functionality of the dam, although it has not been decided how often these will occur.

The Old Mill has agreed to let the City of Lexington build a public walking path around the pond, with construction expected to begin in January 2023 and take about a year.

The trail is part of the city’s Vision Plan, adopted in 2012, which contains plans to revitalize downtown Lexington. The city is partnering with Lexington School District One and Lexington County on this project.

“The city council wanted to invest in downtown Lexington because we think it’s a special place and it’s been in some decline.” Poole said. “So between the two projects of the [Icehouse Amphitheater] and the dam and walking path, we were booking projects in the historic part of downtown to give people something to do.

The amphitheater, which opened in 2017 near the corner of Church and Main, seats 900 people. The venue is often used to host a variety of events from concerts to major festivals to a weekly farmer’s market in the warmer months.

Poole told the Chronicle that in 2021, the Icehouse was ranked fourth among SC tourist attractions, attracting more than 300,000 visitors.

“We’re seeing the success of the investment we’ve made, and downtown, that investment continues,” he said.

Across Church Street from the amphitheater, the city recently began work on a complete renovation of Virginia Hylton Park, which opened in 1991. The renovation will add 8.25 acres to the park and new amenities , including exercise stations and a walking path, a more inclusive play area for children of all skill levels, a mini amphitheater, a large fountain, additional bathrooms, and public art spaces.