SCSU Considers Retaining Hillcrest Softball Fields | Local

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South Carolina State University and the City of Orangeburg continue to discuss the future of Hillcrest Golf Course and the entire Hillcrest Recreation Center along St. Matthews Road, the president said. of SCSU, Alexander Conyers, to the administrators of the university.

The president said Feb. 3 that he met with the mayor and administrator of Orangeburg regarding the one-year extension of the Hillcrest Golf Course lease while they negotiated a longer-term lease. It was in 1971 that the city and the SC State entered into a lease granting the city use of the land for 50 years. The city leases the 186 acres from SC State for $1 a year. The city operates the golf course.

“We will prepare a separate presentation on this golf course. As you know, the lease expired last December, the 50-year lease. We have entered into a one-year extension so that we can really determine what is what’s best for the university, what’s best for the city, and what’s best for the community going forward with Hillcrest Golf Course,” Conyers said.

“I can say this, the most valuable land currently along this golf course which faces St. Matthews Road has been used for softball fields. They don’t use it anymore. So everything we do , we’ll remove it and the university will keep those 20 acres for other development, rental options, whatever,” he said.

The city of Orangeburg has a new recreation complex near North Road which includes softball fields.

The Acting Chairman continued: “But we will be bringing in a consultant to help us determine what is the best land use for this property. But I am certainly interested in (a) PGA partnership. I am certainly well aware that South Carolina State University is one of very few HBCUs with a golf course, but without a golf team.So…we will be looking at any avenues in the future that will benefit this university at the future.

Hillcrest lease under discussion; Orangeburg, SCSU Considers Renewal

In 1968, then-state president Dr. Maceo Nance approached then-city manager Bob Stephenson to create a recreation facility that would bring the city together after the Orangeburg massacre. . This led to the partnership with the city operating a golf course on land that was then an SC state farm.

City Administrator Sidney Evering said that in December 2020, SC State’s attorney sent the city a letter refusing to renew Hillcrest’s lease. The university was exercising its option to exit the lease more than a year before its end.

Had the university not backed out of the lease, it would have been extended for another 25 years, Evering said.

Meanwhile, Conyers told trustees the university was also considering acquiring five properties along Russell Street.

“As we continue to work with the City of Orangeburg as they finalize plans for Railroad Corner … it is imperative that the university continue to acquire the other property on the college side of Russell Street,” he said. -he declares.

He continued: “We are starting to prepare for the transport hub, and it will all face Russell Street. There are about five single family homes along Russell Street which I am extremely interested in acquiring so that the university can expanding its footprint so that when we start building the transportation hub, all of those things are in. That’s about five properties that are currently on university property as we speak.

In other matters, the acting president reported to the board that the university exceeded its “Ready All to Do and Dare” fundraising campaign goal of $1.25 million by raising $2,250,270. in 125 days.

“That’s a huge increase in a short time from Bulldog Nation,” Conyers said, noting that $78,000 was taken from the 2021 Celebration Bowl alone, where SC State defeated Jackson State to win the HBCU Championship.

Orangeburg plans airport improvements; civil servants: grants to cover approximately $1 million in costs

“My number one goal with this money is unrestricted scholarship funds. … My next goal is to give money back to our student and auxiliary organizations. What I have found is that everyone gives collectively, we’ve raised more money than a lot of these little helpers would have done on their own,” Conyers said.

He continued, “I have already designated $10,000 for the ROTC department. I have designated $50,000 for student activity fees (funds). Our student activity fees are based on enrollment …because our enrollment has dropped so low in recent years, our student organizations simply haven’t had the kind of money they deserve to travel and have other learning experiences around the country. . »

Conyers said $100,000 was also paid to the group.

“It will help them to continue their marketing, but more importantly what I am asking the director of the group to do is to take this money and immediately reduce the amount of money it costs our students to represent us… This money will allow him to do this for a few years until we can find sustainable funding to do this,” he said, noting that campus beautification, marketing and branding are other areas where the university is looking to use the funds.

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Conyers said when he talks about campus branding and beautification, that includes the university’s plan to consider putting its name on its on-campus fireplace.

“Most of the universities you go to have a university crest on their chimneys, so we have prizes for that, plus some big bulldogs to put on campus, mostly in front of SHM and the stadium,” he noted.

Contact the author: dgleaton@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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