CCU board of trustees approves building name and three new degree programs
“Coastal Carolina University is forever grateful for the residents of Horry County, who voted overwhelmingly for the Penny Sales Tax renewal,” said CCU President Michael T. Benson. “Their vote speaks to the confidence they have in supporting our amazing local education. The continued impact the Penny Sales Tax will have on CCU, and the community as a whole, is priceless. Naming Penny Hall provides us the opportunity to acknowledge and thank everyone who was involved in the initial development, passage, and now renewal of the Penny Sales Tax.”
The Penny Sales Tax, officially named the Education Capital Improvement Sales and Use Sales Tax, was initiated in 2008 and renewed in November 2022 through a vote by Horry County residents. The sales tax funds capital improvements for public schools and the county’s two institutions of higher education. The revenue is shared by Horry County Schools (80%), Coastal Carolina University (13.3%), and Horry-Georgetown Technical College (6.7%). The 2022 vote reimposes the Penny Sales Tax for an additional 15 years.
To date, CCU has received more than $133 million from the initial Penny Sales Tax measure. The funds have been instrumental in building facilities such as the newly named Penny Hall as well as Science Annex II, HTC Student Recreation and Convocation Center, Clay D. Brittain Jr. Hall, and Thompson Library, which is under construction. Acquisitions funded through the sales tax revenue include the General James Hackler Golf Course, Student Health Center, and Coastal Science Center.
Penny Hall is a 52,954-square-foot academic facility that was completed in 2017. It provides 16 classrooms/labs, three student study rooms, multiple open collaborative spaces, offices for more than 100 faculty and staff from various disciplines, and ITS headquarters.
The new degree programs must be approved by the South Carolina Higher Education Commission, South Carolina Department of Education, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools before being officially added to the University curriculum.
Information about the new programs:
• The health sciences degree program will be housed in the Conway Medical Center College of Health and Human Performance. The program’s foundational, broad-based coursework allows for individualized flexibility. The major can be tailored toward a wide variety of health-related areas and pre-professional pathways. The program is designed to accommodate students who are interested in health careers but may be undecided about their specializations.
• The journalism and sports broadcasting major will be administered by the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. The proposed program includes existing news and editorial journalism courses and a new sports journalism focus, which will offer students more direct experiences with sports news coverage both inside and outside the classroom.
• The professional studies degree will be an online completion program administered by the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. The degree is designed primarily for working adults, who have previously earned college credits, to complete their bachelor’s degrees online while remaining in the workforce. Foundational courses will focus on professional communication, professional ethics, and a variety of leadership and management courses.
In other action, the board approved:
• Renaming both the Science Annex II building and the archives and special collections that will be housed in the soon-to-be-renovated Kimbel Library in recognition of two separate seven-figure donations to the University, pending finalization of the gift agreements.
• Increasing the Indoor Practice Facility project budget from $15 million not to exceed $20 million, pending design, scope, and cost estimates from the construction manager and contingent upon available private funding.
• Two, one-year leases: one with the Coastal Educational Foundation for property located on Hwy. 544 and the other with Fountain-Fuller of SC, LLC, for warehouse space in the Atlantic Center.
The board’s next scheduled meetings are Feb. 16-17, 2023.