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University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) Hospitality Management Facility

Existing Collaborative Efforts on the Island
  • Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training.
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) facility at Pineland Station.
  • Continuing Medical Education in collaboration with USC School of Medicine and the Sea Pines Resort.

Furtherance of the Comprehensive Plan

  • The 2010 Comprehensive Plan, "Charting the Island's Future - From Here to 2030 calls for assuring "higher and continuing education opportunities for citizens with emphasis on opportunities that match the specific needs of our local population and economy.."
  • The Plan notes that "Continuing and adult education has been identified as important to Island citizens."
  • And that “More on-island opportunities should be considered for higher education.”

Benefits of USCB collaboration

  • Adult and continuing education opportunities for residents and visitors; improving quality of life.
  • Opportunities for students at management end of an industry that is one of the largest and fastest growing in the nation.
  • Opportunities for students in an industry that allows them to remain in the area.
  • Enhanced opportunities for internships with local businesses.
  • Better trained and knowledgeable employees translates into better service and a better experience for residents and guests.
  • Creates opportunities for other collaborative efforts with the University; adding to Island offerings and thus Island "brand".
  • Given its international reputation, success on Hilton Head Island radiates out across the County and region.
  • Presence and promotion of the facility will increase exposure of the Island.
  • Events and conferences will showcase the Island and introduce us to future property owners.
  • Higher education and continuing education opportunities are a hallmark of most "best communities" type lists.
  • Opens space at main campus for expansion of other programs.

Location

  • Pope Avenue and Office Park Road. Replaces the Carolina Office Park development (three office buildings) and the Time Warner operations building.

Traffic Impacts and Proposed Road Improvements

  • A traffic impact study of the proposed USCB facilities has already been completed and reviewed with the CSA Traffic Committee.
  • Proposed use has less traffic impact than the other uses and densities allowed under the Town's LMO for the Sea Pines Commercial District.
  • A private developer would not have been required to do a traffic study.
  • Removal of the Time Warner Building facilitates long overdue reconstruction of the Pope/New Orleans/Office Park intersection; the need for which is reaffirmed by the study.
  • Improvements to the Greenwood Drive/Office Park Road intersection are also called for.
  • The "regional" traffic study being undertaken is looking at the bigger picture of zoning changes, a build-out scenario and the impacts of redevelopment throughout the southern portion of the Island, including inside the PUDs.

Costs for USCB Facility

  • Current discussions are focused on capping costs for "Phase I" (the main building) at $24.5 million; including land costs and site preparation.
  • USCB will contribute $2.5 million which has already been raised and is in a separate interest-bearing account held by the non-profit Beaufort-Jasper Commission on Higher Education.
  • Future phases (separate OLLI Building) will be the responsibility of USCB.
  • Through TIF funding, the Town’s partners contribute as follows: County (47%), School District (23%), Town (18%), USCB (10%) and HHPSD (2%).
  • In the TIF extension, no School operating taxes are used; only Debt Service millage.

Costs for Road Improvements

  • Traffic circulation improvements will serve the entire Pope Avenue, Office Park Road, New Orleans Road and Greenwood Drive areas.
  • Costs, currently estimated to exceed $1 million, will be the responsibility of the Town and will be paid from TIF funds.
  • Grants to assist with these costs have been received from Hargray Communications ($275,000).