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USC begins upfit of new home for journalism school


Staff Report
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Feb. 3, 2014

The University of South Carolina’s journalism school will have a new home at the center of campus next year, when it moves into the renovated former Health Sciences Building at the corner of Sumter and Greene streets.

The refitted building is designed to fit with the new media landscape and accommodate a school that has outgrown its current home in the basement of the Carolina Coliseum building.

The USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications' new home will be in the former Health Sciences building, which is located in the university’s Horseshoe district. (Rendering provided)

The USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications' new home will be in the former Health Sciences building, which is located in the university’s Horseshoe district.
(Rendering provided)

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications celebrated its groundbreaking Monday. The 52-year-old brick building will become the new home for the school, which has been at its Carolina Coliseum location since 1969.

The $25 million project will transform the building at the entrance to the Horseshoe into an open environment where about 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students will pursue degrees in journalism, advertising, public relations, visual communications and mass communications studies. The new building will provide nearly double the space for the journalism school.

“We've physically and philosophically outgrown the Coliseum. It's an inflexible blockhouse, but we're in a time when the media landscape is vast, evolving and unconfined by real or virtual walls,” Dean Charles Bierbauer says. “We also think communications is central to any and every part of the university. And so, the school should be central and visible in its features and functions.”

Classes are expected to begin in the 54,000-square-foot renovated building in August 2015.

The journalism school has worked with The Boudreaux Group, a Columbia architectural firm with considerable experience at the university and in repurposing buildings, to design a facility with current and future needs in mind.

Thanks to a $1.5 million pledge in 2011 by an anonymous donor, the school also has been approved to build an approximately 1,400-square-foot “greenhouse” studio adjacent to the school’s main building.

The completed facility will also house the administrative offices of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. The college’s other component — the School of Library and Information Science — will remain in Davis College near the university’s central Horseshoe. The move will bring the college’s two schools into close proximity for the first time since they were merged in 2002.

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