Announcement: Alumni Center Coming Soon!
More than 260,000 alumni of the University of South Carolina will soon have a new home to call their own. A new alumni center will be constructed on Lincoln Street in the Vista between the Hilton hotel and the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Construction on the approximately 60,000 square-foot building is tentatively slated to begin in the fall of 2013 with a projected completion date by the end of 2014.
“While alumni association offices will be located here, this will become the hub for alumni and university events as well as available for private functions and meeting space that the Convention Center could use,” My Carolina Alumni Association President Lee Bussell said. “Alumni centers result in greater participation by alumni in annual giving and involvement with advocacy.”
Other departments on campus will have access to the facility space, which will include a ballroom that can seat up to 500 guests. The non-office space may also serve as a revenue generator as it will be available to the public for rent at competitive rates. Bussell says one of the unique aspects of this alumni center is the ability of sharing operations with the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
“We can operate more efficiently and more professionally by contracting with the Convention Center for services,” Bussell said. “This will allow us to provide even greater value to alumni and groups that will be using our space, plus the Convention Center will have access to lease short term space in our alumni center. This is a win-win for everyone.”
The alumni center and Convention Center will have a connector that will run under Lincoln Street, providing easy access to both facilities.
"On behalf of the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism, the governing arm over the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, we are pleased to see years of discussion and planning come to fruition," said Ric Luber, President and CEO of the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism. "We are excited for the proposed University of South Carolina Alumni Center and its connectivity to the Convention Center, and we look forward to supporting the Alumni Association in its efforts to provide a permanent building for its current and future members. This will, without a doubt, be a major asset to the Columbia area business community and we couldn’t be happier to be involved."
Bussell also notes that the alumni center will be one of the most unique buildings on campus, and will allow alumni to have a stronger bond with the University.
“As the association completed its new strategic plan, it became clear that our alumni wanted a home that could serve as a location for greater connectivity to the University,” Bussell said. “Lifelong learning, lifelong career guidance and placement, and technology that will allow greater connectivity with alumni at a distance will all be enhanced by this center.”
The alumni center will have limited on-site parking and will be connected to the city parking garage next door.
Information regarding the bidding process, how it will be funded, and the anticipated cost of the project will be disclosed at a later date.