University of South Carolina trustees Thursday could seek state bonds as part of a final financial push to build a new $75 million law school and pay for a new indoor football practice facility, part of a new wave of Gamecocks athletics construction.
USC hopes to open the new law school by 2016 a year before its 150th anniversary in the block bounded by Gervais, Pickens, Senate and Bull streets, officials said.
Trustees are expected to vote on a financial package for the new law school at a meeting at USC Aiken today.
The school has raised $17 million in donations through the end of 2012 and received $15 million from state funding and bonds. USC projects seeking $35 million in additional state revenue bonds.
The universitys debt has more than doubled in the past decade to $512 million, but a report from Barclays this month suggested the school could absorb added debt for planned projects, including the law school. Enrollment at USCs Columbia campus has grown by more than 20 percent to nearly 31,000 in the past decade, while tuition has nearly doubled.
USC has talked about getting the rest of the money about $8 million if $35 million in bonds are approved through fundraising, earning a federal tax grant aimed at revitalizing low-income neighborhoods and obtaining legal settlements won by the state. The law school is set to receive $2 million from a class-action settlement announced earlier this month.
USCs Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management college is expected to move into the current 40-year-old law school building on Main Street.
Trustees also are scheduled to seek state-revenue bonds for a $14.5 million indoor-practice football facility that will go next to a new $3 million outdoor practice field on the former Farmers Market site.
The athletics department also is seeking approval for sand volleyball courts for the schools 21st athletic team, a plaza around Williams-Brice Stadium to replace the current parking lot, and track and field, tennis and soccer upgrades.
The USC athletics program is seeking about $51.5 million for new projects, including $40 million in new debt that could be paid with increased revenue from the Southeastern Conferences TV contract, revenue from a new bowl and higher football season ticket prices.
Athletics director Ray Tanner has said tickets could rise by as much as $45 each, the first hike since 2008. If ticket prices increase, Tanner said he would suggest the schools booster group, the Gamecock Club, hold off a dues hike planned for 2014.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the $2 million legal settlement did not come from S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson.