Nikki Haley Receives Clemson Trustee’s Medallion as Board Reconsiders Plans for Facility | Greenville News
CLEMSON — Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was presented with a trustee’s medallion at the quarterly summer meeting of the Clemson Board of Trustees.
The board spent July 21 in committee meetings and held a full board meeting on July 22. In addition to acknowledging Haley, the board approved the fiscal 2023 budget and several facility projects.
Trustee Emeritus JJ Britton, who attended Clemson’s otherwise in-person board meeting on July 22, said the medallions were created to give members a personal artifact and family keepsake. The medallion is three inches in diameter and features the seal of the university and personalization of the trustee’s name. Britton said Haley, who joined the board on October 12, 2021, was receiving her medallion late due to COVID delays.
Britton said “eventually” the locket could become a keepsake of Haley or her family and hopefully “evoke a little pride and a little smile.” Haley called it beautiful and said she appreciated it.
Haley, who also served as US Ambassador to the United Nations for two years, has hinted at a possible presidential bid in 2024 before joining Clemson’s board. However, one of her most recent teases came on her trip to Iowa, where she responded to reporters about a possible offer with “if there’s a place for me.”
Three projects on Clemson University’s main campus have received the Board’s blessing to continue, although the scope of some projects has changed.
Three identical brown and beige buildings make up the Bryan Mall condominium. Byrnes Hall is for every freshman. The sister buildings, Lever and Manning, house first-year engineering students and first-year women, respectively.
The Board approved the first phase of the Bryan Mall High Rise renovation project in October 2021. The original plan called for all three buildings to be renovated in phases of one building per year over a three-year period. The original budget was $100 million.
Increased construction costs have prompted management to scale back the project for the time being, renovating only Byrnes Hall, as it’s the building that requires the most work from the three, according to Clemson’s executive vice president of finance and operations, Tony Wagner. It has been described by reviewers as “high risk of system failure,” although officials stressed the building is secure.
The estimated cost of the Byrnes Hall renovation as of October 2021 was $34 million but has increased to $52.35 million. The project would repair the roof and windows, replace the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical installation, and improve the building’s accessibility.
The board approved the new recommendation and the issuance of higher education income bonds not to exceed $54 million. In order to start construction in May 2023, the school needs final government approval in October. The aim is to break ground in the summer of 2023 and to complete it in the summer of 2024.
Lehotsky Hall hosts courses for the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. In February 2019, Lehotsky Hall was approved for a $30 million renovation project.
A demolition test revealed serious concerns about the building’s envelope, so management returned to the board in February 2022 with a new plan for a $50 million replacement project, funded by bonds from state institutions. Phase 1 of the project was approved in February.
The project would replace the current 94,000-square-foot building with an 85,000-square-foot building. The new hall would be adjacent to the Godley-Snell Research Center across Cherry Road from the Life Sciences Building and, with its proximity to Hunnicutt Creek and nearby tree resources, would provide an “outdoor laboratory”.
The former Lehotsky Hall site will be demolished and initially used as a green space. The project is scheduled to start in July 2023 and be completed in spring 2025. The Board approved Phase 2 of the project and issuance of government bonds totaling a maximum of US$51 million.
Expansion of women’s sport
This project would create new facilities for women’s gymnastics and lacrosse alongside the existing women’s rowing facility. It will cost $37 million, with $27 million coming from gifts and $10 million from sports facility sales bonds. The project includes training facilities, locker rooms and a lacrosse field, as well as an athlete recreation center for lacrosse, gymnastics and rowing.
The project will start in January 2023 and will be completed in December 2023. The Board has approved Phase 2 of the project.
Follow Stephanie Mirah on Twitter @stephaniemirah