PICKENS COUNTY — Tri County Technical College received a green light from Pickens County Council to move forward with the planned $46 million project for a new “Student Success” Center on the college’s main campus in Pendleton.
The project, which also includes renovations and upgrades to existing structures, has been in the works since initial approval of the construction plans were granted by both Anderson and Oconee counties earlier this year.
In a unanimous vote last Monday night, with Councilman Ensley Feemster abstaining, council agreed to write a letter to Tri-County technical College expressing preliminary support of the project.
Pickens County would end up financing nearly $7 million toward the project, matched by Oconee County. Anderson County would contribute double that amount and the college itself would invest $15 million.
Members of council showed clear irritation at the lack of funds from a state level for the proposed student center project with Councilman Tom Ponder stating that South Carolina couldn’t be depended upon in cases like this.
Ronnie Booth, president of the college, said it has been more than 20 years since the campus has undergone any major renovations and that adding adequate space was crucial as student enrollment continues to rise.
Tri-County Technical College was founded in 1962 and has a running partnership with Clemson University that allows students who plan to declare a limited enrollment major to enroll at TCTC and then transfer to Clemson after two semesters while keeping their status as Clemson students.
According to Booth, the Pendleton campus now educates around 5,000 students in buildings that were designed to handle roughly 3,500.
In addition to the new Student Success building, the construction project would include a revamping of the campus’ current administration building and a cafeteria.
Pickens County Council will still have to grant final approval for the project.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.