S.C. State University breaks down new campus improvements

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Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:07 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Major improvements are on the way to South Carolina State University Campus.

On the list of improvements is a new transportation system that will also benefit locals in the Orangeburg County area.

About 13 million dollars in federal funding along with a 2.5 million dollar match from the state will go into enhancements for the Clyburn Transportation Center.

These enhancements mean SC state is keeping up with the skills and training of the future.

School officials are looking to also bring in classes that would be geared toward the transit field.

Officials are hoping for new and major improvements coming to the campus, starting with the James E. Clyburn Transportation Center.

“That center is going to be an education center for people that’s concerned about transportation. It’s going to bring in exhibits and bring in people hopefully nationally,” said Dr. Jerald Smalls, the Chief Financial Officer at SC State University.

The facility will also provide transportation for locals living in Orangeburg County.

“We can only think that would help us grow and just the avenue of having one of our local HBCUs become the forefront of transportation in the southeast is huge for us,” said Harold Young, the county administrator.

SC State officials are hoping to have the 35 thousand-square-foot project out for bid by this summer.

Also, on the list for major improvements is the Queens Village. The apartment complex is made up of seven cottages that have been left vacant for decades now.

Dr. Smalls explained, “It was lodging for some of the families back then but we’re going to bring it back in a very nice environment. Palm trees and all that kind of stuff and make it for some of our student representatives.

Also, on the list is renovating the upper levels of Sojourner Truth Hall.

The university has only been able to house students on the lower levels because the upper floors weren’t accessible to fire trucks.

That’ll open up about 200 beds for incoming students. Dr. Smalls says these renovations will have a positive impact on student enrollment.

“Right now, applications are at 10 thousand, 10 thousand. Our enrollments are around hovering around close to 3 thousand so you can see that’s a massive amount of interest. Out of that, we’ve accepted, I think around 5 thousand right now. So, we are excited about that enhanced interest,” said Dr. Smalls.

The student center is also getting enhancements to the inside, bringing more technology and safety features.

Next is the student pavilion, which will be a 50-foot by 80-foot concrete pad with a 50-foot by 40-foot structure covering the end closest to the Student Center.

“I came when the student center was actually being updated and renovated. So, to see that they’re going to be bringing more renovations to it. I am super excited about that,” said Kentasia Brown, a student at SC State University.

Major improvements are on the way to South Carolina State University Campus.
Major improvements are on the way to South Carolina State University Campus.(South Carolina State University Campus)

Renovations for the student center, Sojourner Truth Hall, the pavilion, and Queen Village are expected to be complete in the Summer of 2024.

School leaders say while this is a start to major improvements on campus there is much more work to be done.

They’ve submitted a proposal to state legislators for more funding to enhance the library and classrooms. The total asking price is 225 million dollars.

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