The ceremonial shovels are standing ready as Limestone College prepares for yet another monumental event on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m., when a groundbreaking ceremony will be held for the institution’s new multi-million-dollar library and student center.
The dual-purpose building is being made possible as part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Program. Limestone’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously in September of 2018 to accept the terms of the loan as part of an overall $42.5 million project for the College.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the 65,000-square-foot facility will take place inside a large tent located in what is now the parking lot for Montgomery Hall on the front campus. The public is invited to attend.
The anticipated occupancy date for the structure is May of 2021.
The USDA loan also enables Limestone to purchase Brown Residence Hall that was constructed through a partnership with a benefactor and private developer, and refinance existing debt. The USDA loan will be repaid over a period not to exceed 40 years, and College officials have indicated that the payments will be comparable to the school’s current debt service payments.
“The start of this construction project in 2020 is a major part of our 175th anniversary, and when completed it will transform our campus and the student experience,” said Limestone President Dr. Darrell Parker. “We are overjoyed to break ground on our new library and student center that will serve as the new academic hub of our campus, while also creating a central gathering place where our entire community can collaborate and connect. It will also be a major recruiting and retention tool for Limestone, especially as we move to university status later this year.”
As part of the USDA Rural Development Program loan process, Hogan Construction Group, LLC, with offices in Greenville, Charleston, and Atlanta, was awarded the construction bid. Hogan has been involved in many high-profile construction projects, including a recent component of the Clemson University Memorial Stadium West End Zone.
The new student center will be on the first floor of the new building that will be constructed in an area between and behind Montgomery Hall and the Carroll Fine Arts Building. It will include a common area, a public art gallery, a community meeting space, and an additional student dining area.
The state-of-the art library portion will be located on the second and third floors. The library will include advanced computer and audiovisual technology, a writing and math center, reading area, classrooms, and student work areas.
“We are thrilled to be involved with this project,” said South Carolina USDA Rural Development State Director Debbie Turbeville, who will be on-site for the groundbreaking. “This USDA Rural Development Community Facilities project will help Limestone College build its new library and student center building, which in turn will attract students, educators, and community investment.”
The current A.J. Eastwood Library, which opened in the 1960s, will be re-purposed for other needs as Limestone expands its existing programs and adds new initiatives.
For those attending the ceremony, parking will be available in lots located at the nearby Hamrick Hall of Science and the Griffith Street Apartments. Overflow parking will be available in the Fullerton Lot, located along Griffith Street behind Fullerton Auditorium. A reception with light refreshments will be held in the lobby of Carroll Recital Hall immediately after the groundbreaking.
As part of the “Pave The Way” initiative, individuals, as well as groups and organizations, still have the opportunity to purchase a commemorative brick that will be engraved with a personalized message at the new student center and library. To order commemorative bricks for $118.45 each, please visit www.limestone.edu/pavetheway.
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