City OKs design of University of South Carolina alumni center

ccope@thestate.comJune 13, 2013 

A rendering of the University of South Carolina alumni center planned for Lincoln and Senate streets near the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

— The proposed designs for the University of South Carolina alumni center have been approved by Columbia’s Design/Development Review Commission.

The project has been more than 160 years in the making, said Jack Claypoole, executive director of the alumni association. The new center will be at the corner of Lincoln and Senate streets, adjacent to the Hilton hotel.

“We’re now the only Southeastern Conference school without an alumni center, but we will clearly now have the best alumni center,” Claypoole said.

Construction will begin toward the end of the year, and the anticipated completion date is May 2015.

The project is entirely funded with private donations “by alumni for alumni,” Claypoole said.

In a presentation to the commission, Mary Beth Branham of LS3P design firm highlighted the visual context of the building, saying it complemented the features of surrounding buildings, the Vista and the university.

The three-story building with a basement fits in with nearby buildings such as the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and a city parking garage, Branham said. It also has a mostly brick facade that meshes with other Vista buildings, and it reflects the gates of the historic Horseshoe on the university campus.

Parking for the center will be in the neighboring garage, where the city is leasing spaces to the center.

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