CCU trustees approve money for new dorms

sjones@thesunnews.comOctober 26, 2012 

— Trustees at Coastal Carolina University on Friday approved a $92 million expenditure to purchase property and construct new student housing on campus.

The money includes $3.3 million to buy what is known as the Elvington property from the Student Housing Foundation, $85 million for the construction and $1.935 million to refinance Series 2004 revenue bonds to get a lower interest rate. The remaining amount is for cost of issuance fees.

Trustees also approved adding $1 million to the budget for renovation of the Singleton Building and $5 million to the cost of the Science Annex II.

Trustees were told during their meeting that the school has received a clean audit for the fifth year running and approved awarding honorary degrees to Vernice “Flygirl” Armour, the nation’s first black female combat pilot who will be the keynote speaker at the Dec. 15 commencement, and S.C. Rep. W. Brian White of Anderson County.

The university will get the $92 million from the sale of bonds in two parcels. The first is planned in January 2013 and the second will be when the project is ready for construction.

Stacie Bowie, CCU chief financial officer, said the $5 million addition is to ensure the addition of a third floor to the Science Annex II building. Trustees had already approved a $10 million addition for the extra floor.

She said the university decided to eliminate one building from a planned four-building science complex by adding a third floor to Science Annex II.

The project now has a total budget of $30, Bowie said.

The additional funding is to come from revenue from a local, one-cent sales tax for education and bond money already on hand.

The $1 million additional for the Singleton Building’s renovation is primarily to cover unexpected costs that may be found during the project.

The renovation originally had a $3 million budget, Bowie said, adding, “We just weren’t sure $3 million was going to be enough.”

She said the original budget will cover things such as electrical work and replacement of the 48-year-old building’s heating and air conditioning systems. The extra money will cover costs for things such as mold abatement and structural issues that workers discover need correcting while making other renovations.

The extra $1 million is to come from renovation reserve funds, Bowie said.

Trustee Natasha Hanna abstained in the vote to approve the spending.

She said she did not disagree with any of the expenses, but abstained to reflect her concern that the items got so little discussion during Friday’s board meeting.

The trustees’ finance committee held meetings Thursday at which each project was reviewed in detail, CCU spokeswoman Martha Hunn said.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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