The president of South Carolina State University has asked the state for a $209 million budget for the 2023–2024 fiscal year that will be used to finance five capital projects to replace and improve the university’s aging facilities.
It has been thirty years since the university got a full state appropriation for a new academic facilities, University president Conyers noted. Because of its capacity issues of the campus, the university could only admit 1,100 of the 8,600 new students last fall. Of the $209 million, $195 million will be used for infrastructure upgrades including construction of new classroom buildings, library, health and wellness facility, railings and sidewalks, and upgrade on its information technology infrastructure.
Outlining the allocation of the proposed budget, WIS-TV reported:
• $54.7 million for a new classroom building to replace Turner Hall. Among the deficiencies are outmoded classrooms and inadequate access for people with disabilities (ADA compliance).
• $30.3 million for a new library. SC State’s Miller F. Whitaker Library is 55 years old and lacks the infrastructure to support technology in a modern learning environment. The building has only a small freight elevator, which also affects ADA access.
• $45 million to replace Smith Hammond Middleton Memorial Center (SHM), which opened in 1968, with a new convocation center with more capacity.
• $40 million to replace Staley Hall with a new health and wellness facility. The new building would include a pool to replace the antiquated pool behind SHM.
• $5 million to bolster the campus’ outdated information technology infrastructure.
• A new $20 million building to house SC State’s new College of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences.
• $2.7 million for ADA accommodations throughout the campus, including new railing and sidewalks.