SC State requests $200M+ from state legislature to help replace outdated facilities
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina State, the only public historically Black college and university in the state, has requested more than $200 million from the state legislature to replace several outdated buildings for students.
University spokesperson Sam Watson said the university has historically been underfunded but has had good cooperation from the state recently. They hope that trend continues in 2023.
The highest priority on the university’s list is Turner Hall, which officials have requested over $54 million to replace. There is only one elevator in the classroom building’s four wings, the oldest being built just under 100 years ago.
The university has requested over $30 million to replace the 55-year-old Miller F. Whittaker Library because it can’t handle modern technology infrastructure and only has a freight elevator.
SC State has also requested $45 million and $40 million, respectively, to replace the Smith Hammond Middleton Memorial Center and Staley Hall.
“We are in need of these buildings because we have to compete with HBCUs from around the South and across the country,” Watson said. “Those students expect the amenities that they see on other campuses, and we need these buildings to get us up to standard. A lot of our buildings are antiquated. They do not provide the amenities that students are accustomed to at other places.”
Watson said all of these buildings are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and cannot keep up with modern demands.
“All of them have handicap-accessibility issues. They are not compliant with the ADA, and we need to address that,” Watson said. “Renovating them would cost probably $100 million in and of themselves, and we still have 100-year-old, 70-year-old buildings.”
SC State’s request is now in the hands of the state legislature, and Watson said they hope that some of these projects could get funded this year.
By comparison, the College of Charleston has requested $93 million dollars from the state legislature in 2023.
College spokesperson Mike Robertson said $88 million of that request would go toward renovating several buildings on campus and modernizing it.
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