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$4.25 Million Federal Loan to Build Student Housing for USC Salkehatchie

The group picture is (L-R) Ann Carmichael, Dean, USC Salkehatchie; Reggie Barner, CEO, CDIC; John Flemming, project architect; John Cunningham, Chairman, CDIC.

 ALLENDALE, S.C. —- Officials of Community Development & Improvement Corporation (CDIC) of Aiken announced Friday afternoon that approximately $4.4 million has been secured from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and other sources to build the first dormitory on a site contiguous to the USC Salkehatchie Allendale campus.

 The dorm will house 100 students and is slated to open in Fall 2013.   USC Salkehatchie currently has more than 1100 students,and has experienced over an increase of 58% in enrollment over the past five years.

The announcement was made by CDIC Chief Executive Officer Reginal Barner and USC Salkehatchie Dean Dr. Ann Carmichael.

 Dean Carmichael said the housing will be “a milestone for the University.”

“Providing a housing complex adjacent to our campus is going to allow us to better attract and retain those students who want the full college experience that includes campus residential living. This project will not only be a catalyst for economic development, it will take Allendale another step closer to being a true college town,” the dean said.

Dr. Chris Plyler, Vice Provost and Executive Dean of Extended University, USC Columbia, attended the announcement.  “The University of South Carolina is excited about this next step in the development of the USC Salkehatchie Campus. Having a residential facility will enable the campus to attract students from all over the state. This is exactly what the University supports, serving the people of South Carolina by the development of its regional campuses.”

Speaking at the announcement, Danny Black, President and CEO of SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance, the non-profit economic development organization representing Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Hampton, Colleton and Jasper counties, said the student housing will have long-term benefits for the university, the town and the county. “It will certainly bring students to Allendale and create a campus identity. It will also be a visual asset to the University Mile, the corridor along U.S. Hwy. 301.”

Allendale Town Administrator Dewayne Ennis was enthusiastic about the news. “It is a great start to Allendale rediscovering itself as a community. Building this dormitory will be an economic spur for our entire community.” Ennis said the campus is within the Allendale city limits, which hosts 4,500 citizens.

Barner explained that the CDIC will own and operate the dormitory.

Barner agreed that the student housing will stimulate the local Allendale economy and “transform” the university campus. “Student housing is always a transformational factor for college campuses. Having students living, working and shopping in Allendale will be a major economic boost to the town and it will give the campus an identity. No longer will all of USC Salkehatchie’s students head for their cars after class, but many of them will now create a community of their own. They will establish stronger relationships with each other and with the townspeople.”

For the project, CDIC has secured a loan of $4,251,760 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. CDIC secured another $223,780 from other sources to compliment the loan for a total project budget of $4,475,540.

The CDIC is a non-profit affiliate of the Housing Authority of the City of Aiken and has emerged as one of the leading economic and affordable housing developers in the state.   

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