Controversy over proposed church near Clemson's ICAR campus - FOX Carolina 21

Controversy over proposed church near Clemson's ICAR campus

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Clemson University's ICAR campus is along Millennium Boulevard in Greenville. (File/FOX Carolina) Clemson University's ICAR campus is along Millennium Boulevard in Greenville. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Millennium Campus, as it's known, is one of those sights you just can't miss while driving along Interstate 85.

The most prominent building there is Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) center.

And Clemson itself has a say on what goes on around the property, specifically in regards to design. Clemson has come under fire after voting no on a design for a church to be built on the Millennium Campus, saying that the church itself isn't the best fit for the property.

"I'm surprised by this, quite frankly. I really am," said Larry Estridge, lawyer for Rosen Associates, which owns the area where the Anderson-based NewSpring Church wants to build a 1,400-seat house of worship, adjacent to CU-ICAR.

Estridge said there's nothing that would limit the church from building there.

"The basic principle, hope and purpose for the campus is automotive research, education-related automotive research, and it very clearly says 'including, but not limited to,'" said Estridge.

Clemson is standing by their no vote, and said in a statement:

"We have many partners and investors, including the city and state, who expect the site to focus on education, research-driven economic development and job creation. While we certainly support NewSpring's expansion into Greenville, it seems that this location might not be the best fit."

Estridge said he was shocked that Clemson would say no, but that likely won't stop the church from coming to the campus.

"This is a bump in the road," said Estridge. "But hopefully it will all be approved, and it'll go forward."

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