North Charleston is launching a nearly $10 million renovation project to complete a major upgrade of the Coliseum that's aimed at making the venue more pleasant for people attending ice hockey games, concerts and other performances.

The work would add a large second-story addition to the North Charleston Coliseum's north side, creating a space that would serve as a food court during sporting events and concerts. The roughly 7,500-square-foot room could also be partitioned off and used for corporate meetings and private events.

"It is a far simpler renovation than the phase one, which had some wonderful improvements included, but they do not need to be duplicated," said John Trinkl, Assistant General Manager at North Charleston Coliseum.

The first phase of the renovation project, which started in 2010, created a similar concession and event space on the Coliseum's south side, while also upgrading the venue's audio system, luxury boxes and ticket office.

"It has been, in my opinion, a remarkable success," said City Councilman Ron Brinson. "That first phase really did add a matrix of values, for the operation, and for the comfort and value of people using the Coliseum."

A major goal of the renovations has been to eliminate the cramped conditions in the 21-year-old Coliseum's corridors, where lines for concession stands would clash with people trying to walk to rest rooms. The new concession areas, similar to shopping mall food courts, free up the corridors while creating large open rooms where people can buy food.

Trinkl said that right now, the north side of the Coliseum has a narrow concourse with portable concession stands.

"It is sort of lonely and desolate compared to the south side," he said. "The major enhancement is creating more space on the concourse."

"We're (also) adding an elevator for passengers on the north side of the building, so there will be an elevator on each side of the building," Trinkl said.

The renovations were pursued in phases over multiple years so as not to disrupt events. Trinkl said no events were cancelled during the first phase work, and no cancellations are planned during the next phase, which could begin in May.

A $9,547,000 contract for the work was just approved Thursday by North Charleston City Council, which awarded the job to low bidder Brantley Construction Company LLC, of North Charleston.

The city also signed a $241,800 contract with Missouri-based AECOM Technical Services for construction contract administration and updated modeling of the Coliseum's energy, refrigerant and lighting, necessary for certification by the US Green Building Council.

Trinkl said the project should take about nine months to complete once it gets underway.

The two-phase project has a price tag of about $22 million, and the city also spent around $2 million to replace the Coliseum's chiller system.

"That is it for major renovations to the Coliseum for the foreseeable future," Trinkl said.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552