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CCU trustees move to purchase University Place property

August 8, 2014

At its quarterly board meeting today, the trustees of Coastal Carolina University approved the purchase of the University Place residence facility from CCU’s Student Housing Foundation. The acquisition of the 54-acre property, which CCU currently leases from the foundation, will result in significant financial benefits for the university.

The move will allow CCU to defease the outstanding bonds issued by the housing foundation and refinance the debt at a lower rate, according to CCU officials. By canceling the lease agreement, which had been set to terminate in 2042, the university expects to save approximately $70 million over the 30-year period. As a result of CCU’s high bond rating, the savings on the debt service alone realized through the new arrangement will amount to approximately $17 million.

“The greatest beneficiaries of this move will be the students of Coastal Carolina University,” said D. Wyatt Henderson, chairman of the board of trustees. “This will allow us to maintain student housing fees at the present rate for the foreseeable future, as well as to provide needed upgrades and renovations to the property.”

University Place, located near the CCU campus on U.S. 544, has 46 residence halls and houses more than 2,300 students. CCU’s Student Housing Foundation is a nonprofit corporation created in 2003 to lease, manage and contract for the construction of student housing facilities.

The board also approved an eight-year lease of office and dock space in downtown Georgetown from Georgetown County for $147,000. The funding will be provided by the Georgetown Advisory Board. The agreement includes 180 feet of dock space for CCU’s new research vessel, the Coastal Explorer, and other marine science vessels, as well as office space at 908 Front St. that will be used for science instruction and for Osher Lifelong Learning classes.

The board also approved leases for office space off campus in the Atlantic Center as well as for an apartment in Myrtle Beach for visiting international faculty members.

Motions were also approved to increase funding for two campus renovation projects. The budget for the scheduled Smith Science Building renovation will increase from $4.1 to 6.5 million. The increase to the original budget from 2006 is necessary in order to meet new code requirements and LEED certification as well as equipment additions. The budget for the proposed renovation of the University Place dining facility will increase from $1 million to $4.7 million. The original renovation plan to convert the facility’s pool house into a dining hall was deemed inadequate to accommodate the present student population at UP; the new plan calls for the demolition of the existing structure and the construction of an 8,000-square-foot facility that will seat 100 to 125 students.