Student center

Claflin puts the community on the student centre’s plan; 3-story facility must include a movie theater | Local

In a few years, Claflin University will have a new facility serving students and the community.

The corner of Magnolia Street and Goff Avenue currently consists of two houses and trees, but by 2023 the Claflin Student / Community Center will be moving to the area.

Claflin vice president for tax affairs Tijuana Hudson said it was an exciting time in Claflin’s history.

“When you see construction, it always means progress; when we build, it always means progress, ”Hudson said in a virtual meeting held to announce the new project.

She cited the amenities it will bring to the city, saying, “Claflin continues to be a good partner and a landmark in Orangeburg.

The estimated $ 23 million project will consist of three levels, each providing spaces for students and the community. Hudson detailed the layout of the building.

First floor: “Once you pass through the gates of the covered drop-off, you will enter the food court. And we’re looking to have four different restaurants. We don’t know yet what they will be, but the restaurants will also be available to students and the community if they wish. This space would be for both the students and the community, ”said Hudson.

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“This facility is a student center / community center because some of the rooms here are also open to the community. But it’s a student center, so we’re trying to bring all of our student services together under one roof, ”said Hudson.

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Student services include the campus bookstore, college pantry, and hair care center. Lounge areas, both indoor and outdoor, will be available on the first floor.

Hudson said the first floor will also include a convenience that will be one of a kind in Orangeburg.

“As you know Orangeburg doesn’t have a movie theater so that’s something that excites me,” said Hudson.

“This is what we call our auditorium / cinema. Not only will we be able to host different plays, but we will also be able to show films there, ”said Hudson.

“We can organize a community movie night. It can also be a place where a community could rent if they want to house something, ”said Hudson.

For example, a church could have a movie night in the auditorium, Hudson said. The theater would be available for hire.

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Second floor: The second floor will house many other student services, Hudson said.

“Again, you hear me mention student services, so we have the Paw Print center, and again the community can come in. It will be a cost, but if they need to get some things printed, they will be able to use the paw print, ”she said.

“Next to that is a media room,” Hudson said. It will be available for hire for meetings.

Offices for career services, student activities, student government and residential life will be on the second floor. A presidential dining hall and an online student resource center will also be featured.

Third floor: A large ballroom will be on the third floor of the facility.

“It will be able to accommodate 800 people. It is with tables and chairs. There is no other venue in Orangeburg that can accommodate so many people. Again, this event, this room will be open to the community if they want to organize events. It will fill a big void, I think, in the Orangeburg community, ”said Hudson.

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“You won’t have to leave Orangeburg to organize an event that can accommodate that many people. And just think that if you remove the tables, you can hold even more than the 800 people. So there is a lot of flexibility. We have dividers, so the room can be divided into three separate rooms or one large room. You can also make it the size you need, ”said Hudson.

An arcade and E-sports hall will also be on the third floor.

“These are amenities that will be available to students, but also, depending on the time of day, the time of year, we know that we have a lot of summer programs, summer camps. in the community. This will be available for use, ”said Hudson.

“We are trying to create a facility that is not only for the students of Claflin, but also for the community of Orangeburg.

Hudson noted that many rooms in the facility will serve as multi-purpose spaces and that outside entities will have the option of renting the spaces.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the installation is due to take place this year.

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“You will start to notice activity surrounding it,” she said. “The properties that we bought where the building will be located, you’ll start to see them fall over the next month. And then, while we do, what I call the work of getting ready to lead the way, you’ll see some activities and people on the property doing things we don’t always know about, like environmental investigations. ”

“At present, we are still in the process of consolidating or finalizing the financing documents. It’s so much red tape to always be done. But we think we should innovate in this area in late fall and look to have the building finished and ready to go by early 2023. So it will be a project of about 18 months, ”said Hudson. .

Hudson said feedback on the project was positive.

Orangeburg City Councilor Liz Keitt attended the virtual meeting. She expressed her enthusiasm for the new project.

“I would just really like to congratulate Dr. Warmack, the trustees and all the officers who were involved in this, as well as the alumni. We really appreciate the vision of just knowing that we’ll have something so appealing here in Orangeburg. So we really appreciate that, ”Keitt said.

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