AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – The University of South Carolina Aiken is expanding its footprint into the “All America City.”
The Pacers are moving into a once-vacant building in The Alley and making their presence known in Downtown Aiken.
The former Aiken Department of Public Safety substation is under construction.
Sheet rock, paint buckets and power tools are shaping a future reception hall for U.S.C. Aiken students.
While it won’t resemble the current student activities center, it’s going to serve a different need that the university has and the city can benefit from.
“We plan on having student government meetings in there once a month,” said student body president Spencer LaMunion. “But really it’s going to be able to bring students downtown more and that’s the goal.”
The prime property is only being leased to the Pacers for 18 months.
“It’s not going to be open all the time,” Asst. Vice Chancellor of Student Life Ahmed Samaha said. “It’s only going to be open for special events and meetings, so students can stop by and get a bottle of water, or maybe relax for a second.”
However, if the satellite meeting place proves to be successful, in connecting students to the community and vice versa, Samaha says he sees the university setting up a shop Downtown permanently.
“This is just the perfect win-win for both short-term, and I think long-term hopefully we will be able to develop something.” Samaha told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
The idea of having more places to hangout, in-between classes, is thrilling for students who commute every day.
“I mean it would be somewhere else to be other than like around campus,” said Hunter Childers.
“I mean it’s only 5 minutes up the road, so I mean it would be pretty convenient,” Logan Sims told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
They hope to complete the minor renovations and have this place open by Aug. 24, 2017.Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.