The University of South Carolina got critical approval on Thursday for its new proposed law school.
The South Carolina Budget & Control Board on Thursday voted unanimously to give USC the ability to issue up to $48 million in bonds for the new building. The board was the last of three state entities who needed to sign off on the bonds before USC could move forward on the project.
The university estimates the entire project will cost about $80 million, according to documents filed with the board before Thursday’s meeting. USC had already received permission to issue up $10 million in additional bonds. The remaining $30 million would come through fundraising and approximately $10 million from the state.
“The School of Law’s existing facility was constructed in 1971 and is no longer able to facilitate current academic needs,” the school wrote in its request. “Public spaces are significantly undersized and faculty offices are isolated from student spaces and classrooms, inhibiting effective student-faculty interaction.”
The new 187,500 square-foot building is planned for the northern edge of campus in downtown Columbia. The site currently houses the Workshop community theatre. USC hopes to break ground late next summer and open before spring 2017.
The law school’s dean says the 42-year-old existing building is too small and ineffective for modern classroom technology.