Capital Projects Approved

Message - President BensonOffice of the President

Message from President Michael T. Benson 

Capital projects approved

February 3, 2021

Dear Campus Colleagues,

Today is another teal-letter day for Coastal Carolina University.

The final approval was taken yesterday morning when the State Fiscal Accountability Authority (SFAA) signed off on both our capital projects: Phase I approval for the $10 million Kimbel Library renovation; and Phase II approval for the $29.8 million Library Learning Complex new construction. Final written approval was received today and I wanted to alert you to this news.

We are grateful to members of the Commission on Higher Education (CHE), the Joint Bond Review Committee (JBRC), and the SFAA for recognizing Coastal’s contributions to the community and the state by supporting these infrastructure needs.

We anticipate awarding contracts in the very near future and look forward to turning dirt for these significant improvements/additions to campus. The slated completion date is in time for the 2023 Academic Year (August ’23) for the Library Learning Complex with the Kimbel renovation beginning after the LLC is completed.

I commend everyone in our capital facilities and finance areas, the Provost’s office, and our legislative liaison – Brant Branham – for successfully shepherding these projects along the path to completion in a challenging environment. It was a team effort and we are fortunate to have the support of our local legislative delegation as well.

Once again, the Horry County Penny Sales Tax has resulted in a major capital investment in our campus. The importance of the penny tax to Coastal Carolina University cannot be overstated.

You will recall that the Board of Trustees green-lighted these projects last October and folks on campus got busy to make them happen. Much work on the part of many people had been done for many months to get us to this point and today’s approval got us over the finish line.

The subject of my most recent book, Daniel Coit Gilman, served as director of the Yale University Library in the mid-19th century. He said, “The library of a university is its very heart. If the heart is week, every organ suffers; if strong, all are invigorated.”

I would maintain that at the core of any great institution is a great library. Ours is in need of attention and investment. This renovation – together with the additional square footage of new learning spaces – are at the core of our mission as a university.

Additional information about these projects will be forthcoming. For now, below are projected elevations of the Learning Commons. The new facility will be adjacent to Kimbel Library, occupying most of the current parking lot between Kearns Hall and Wheelwright Auditorium.

Thank you for your continued service to Coastal Carolina University.

Michael T. Benson

Learning Commons - Rendering