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University construction to have economic impact

May 18, 2009

Construction of proposed building projects on the Coastal Carolina University campus could have a total impact on the local economy of more than $193 million over the next six years.

This projection by Donald Schunk, research economist for the University's BB&T Center for Economic and Community Development, is based on proposed campus construction activity associated with new buildings, additions and renovations planned over the next six years at an estimated cost of $115 million.

The completion of these various projects will enhance the University's infrastructure and will work to complement the University's mission, as well as boost recruitment and retention among students, faculty and staff.

"However," according to Schunk, "the construction phase of these projects will also provide a boost to the local economy. Money spent by the University on construction will translate into a direct boost to local construction activity, but will also result in additional ripple effects that will create economic activity, jobs and household income throughout the economy."

Specifically, the construction is expected to provide the following benefits over the expected six-year period:

* $115 million estimated direct construction spending. As this direct spending ripples through the local economy, the estimated total boost to the Grand Strand economy is projected to be $193 million.

* A total of 1,746 jobs, including an estimated 1,050 positions directly in construction and another 696 positions spread throughout other sectors of the local economy.

* A total of $65.7 million in household income, including an estimated $40.6 million in new income within the construction sector, and an additional $25.1 million in household income spread across the local economy.

"These construction projects will provide an important source of activity for the local construction sector, which has essentially seen nonresidential construction activity grind to a halt during the current recession," said Schunk. "As important, this will also provide a boost to the numerous area businesses that either supply to the construction industry or that will benefit from the spending of newly created household income."

Projects include a Student Convocation/Recreation Center ($35 million), the Swain Science Annex ($15 million), Information Commons /library renovation ($6 million), Atheneum Hall renovation ($2 million), Atlantic Center Road ($1.2 million), Atlantic Center Complex ($1.2 million), Science Annex II ($15 million), Smith Science Center renovations ($5 million), Williams Brice renovations ($7 million), Student Activities Center ($18 million), hitting facility ($1.2 million), student dining hall addition( $2 million), and a central cooling and heating plant ($4 million).