Local taxpayer dollars are expanding the future of Horry County and higher education.
The Coastal Carolina University Conway Medical Center College of Health and Human Performance has been operating since July 2022. Now, with funding from a local tax, they may soon have a piece of campus to call its own.
The new 64,000-square-foot building comes with a $53 million price tag. The new building will be home to the CMC College of Health and Human Performance. Dean of the college, Dr. Colleen McGlone, said this is a major step forward for the university.
“For us to have our own building and our own space to expand our programs and to meet our mission in creating an impact of multigenerational impact on health and human performance in our region, and especially in Horry County, it’s super exciting- and we can hardly wait to get into that building,” she said. “I wish it was here now.”
The expansion is expected to replace the current track and field facilities, which are located at East Chanticleer Drive in Conway. The current facility is expected to be relocated.
Alongside the new building, there is a proposal to build a 400-space parking garage and house a CMC healthcare clinic.
Dean McGlone said some learning amenities the future home for the college is set to offer include, “State of the art labs in terms of things like a nursing simulation lab, some clinical spaces, extra labs where we can expand programs, especially in those areas of healthcare.”
The project has garnered support from the Coastal Education Foundation Board. They approved the transfer of more than eight acres of land off East Chanticleer Drive for the project.
The entire project is being funded by Horry County taxpayers via the Horry County Penny Sales Tax.
The local 1% tax has been in place since 2008, and it generates revenue for Horry County Schools, and two colleges — Coastal Carolina University, and Horry Georgetown Technical College.
The distributed revenue goes toward capital improvements, such as upgrading, or building new school facilities now and in the future.
“Just thinking on where we can be in the 50 years with the help of that penny sales tax, it’s gonna be standard in the country I believe in higher education. So, we’re very, very grateful for the support of our community,” said McGlone.
She is not completely sure of a completion date just yet, but McGlone said the next step is getting state approval for the project. Once CCU receives that state approval, they can begin working on the design phase.