HHI To Get USCB Satellite Campus? - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

HHI To Get USCB Satellite Campus?

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - Imagine going to college in an island paradise, that could be the case if a new USCB campus opens on Hilton Head. The town is attempting to put together a deal the school accepts.
The town has already purchased two buildings on Office Park Road and are in talks to buy a third--all in hopes of sweetening the pot and attracting the USCB Hospitality school to the island.

Town manager, Steve Riley says this could boost the islands economy and educational opportunities. 

"We've had a partnership with USCB for several years on hospitality training, and we're looking for ways to take that to a new level," said Riley.

That new level, opening a hospitality campus on Office Park Road, a move that Riley is taking seriously.  

"A university component adds an awful lot to a community, we're using TIF dollars, we are looking at buying some land, some under-utilized buildings and try to tear those down and build a new campus."

To build that campus, the town has already ponied-up nearly $3 million, and has three buildings under contract, and looking at a fourth. Riley says this could help give the island and its economy a face-lift.

 "Hopefully it will spur some redevelopment of those other aging office buildings in that part of the island."

The USCB campus would cost an estimated $26 million--including infrastructure and will be paid through tif tax dollars and money from the university.

And even though the town has a verbal agreement with the school, nothing's been finalized yet, leaving some concerned.

 What if this deal falls through? And the town has these properties that they are buying up?

 "At that point I think we look at demolition and offering them for sale and see whatever money we can recoup from that," Riley said.

Either way Riley says that part of the island needs revamped, so this is a good investment. He says they hope to close the deal with the school by the fall and is optimistic the project can get underway next year.

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