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Planned south-end BCC facility still in early stages

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

Planned south-end BCC facility still in early stages

BY LAURA LEWIS

STAFF WRITER

CALABASH—A new campus center for the South Brunswick Islands is still in the initial development stage, a spokeswoman for Brunswick Community College said this week.

The south-end BCC campus center is planned for construction on a 10-acre site off Thomasboro Road, about a half-mile east of U.S. 17.

BCC spokeswoman Liz McLean said Monday the new facility is still in the early planning phase.

“We’re working on rezoning of the property,” McLean said. “Not a whole lot of progress has been made.”

Jerry Thrift, BCC’s vice president of operations, said last August plans tentatively called for a new 7,000- to 8,000-square-foot center. He described the center as a small building that would be ideal as a classroom location.

The project is part of the college’s $30 million bond referendum for new construction approved by voters in 2004. Plans called for a new campus center in Southport as well as the South Brunswick Isles.

The college’s new 55,000-square-foot Fitness and Aquatics Center, also part of that bond package, is nearing completion and is slated to be open by Feb. 1.

In August, BCC was in the process of completing surveys and wetlands delineation for the south-end facility site, as well as launching preliminary design with an architect.

Once details of the state construction process have been ironed out, Thrift said construction could start in the next four to six months, and the facility might be ready to open within the year.

He said the classroom building would provide minimal office space and, it is hoped, multipurpose rooms for use by BCC and perhaps the community, including a computer lab.

In coming months, BCC President Stephen Greiner planned to meet with representatives and residents of local municipalities to involve them in the planning of the new center, then-college spokeswoman Karen Ladley said last year.

In addition, she said Greiner was meeting with a potential land donor to discuss a possible site for the Southport center.

Thrift said once it’s in place, the new facility could be used by Southport art teacher Rusty Hughes’ BCC class, which is currently convening at the Calabash Elks Lodge after having to relocate from its longtime meeting site at Seaside United Methodist Church in Sunset Beach.