Coker College officials dedicated a new $12 million state-of-the-art athletic center in a ceremony Friday.
The Harris and Louise DeLoach Center is now the largest building on the private campus in Hartsville. The new center will host indoor athletics facilities and a fitness center for the school’s roughly 1,200 students.
College president Robert Wyatt said the school already knew its old gym was woefully inadequate when he took the post in 2010. “We’ve been playing in an outdated gym,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “We had a seating capacity of about 400 and it was not air-conditioned.”
So the small school sought out donations, turning towards former Sonoco Corporation CEO and Chairman Harris DeLoach, a philanthropist who frequently donates to education efforts in the Hartsville area. Wyatt said DeLoach and his wife Louise’s commitment helped bring other donors forward, making the school’s current $21 million building campaign possible.