USC working on "master plan" for aging Coliseum

A conceptual drawing of the future Coliseum (Source: USC)
A conceptual drawing of the future Coliseum (Source: USC)

By Logan Smith - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The University of South Carolina is figuring out what to do with the outdated Carolina Coliseum, and on Monday the Board of Trustees met to discuss a "master plan" for the area.

The Coliseum was built in 1968 to host USC basketball games as well as music concerts, but has largely been unused since the nearby Colonial Life Arena opened in 2002. The arena is still popular with artists like John Mayer for concert rehearsals, but few actual concerts are held at the Coliseum.

The university's School of Journalism still holds classes in the Coliseum's lower levels, but hopes to move closer to the center of campus. Trustees are now looking at options for the aging building, which sits on prime real estate on campus.

USC Vice President for Finance and Planning Dr. Ted Moore didn't offer many specific details, but said planning consultant Sasaki, Ltd. hopes to renovate the building inside and out so the Coliseum can be used for purposes other than its original design.

A conceptual drawing provided by the university shows an open, modernized facility with multiple levels enclosed in glass, much like the Koger Center next door. The concept also replaces staff parking with a courtyard area next to the building.

Moore said trustees will meet this spring to study Sasaki's conceptual plan, and weigh it against "financial realities" facing the University. "We must identify sources of capital and make important decisions on priorities," said Moore.

It wouldn't be the first time USC has completely repurposed a building. Longstreet Theatre was once a gymnasium, which hosted USC basketball games before the old Carolina Fieldhouse was built in 1927.

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