Gobs of paint, a lot of elbow grease and even more planning are going a long way at South Carolina State University this summer.

With most students away for the summer break, SC State is taking the opportunity to spruce up numerous areas on the campus and make progress on some major initiatives.

Most upgrades will be readily apparent to returning students and visitors, as they include areas regularly frequented by both, but nearly every section of campus is getting attention ranging from touch-ups to full renovations.

“Work is never stagnant at SC State University, as we always are maximizing resources to make better experiences for our students,” SC State President Alexander Conyers said. “Ken Davis and our Facilities Operations team have been going full bore all year. They are juggling multiple projects to enhance the teaching, learning and living environment on our historic campus.”

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Probably the most visible project in the works is slated to begin next week. SC State’s brand will be placed on the historic smokestack at the old boiler plant on Naylor Street. Employees, students and visitors also will notice landscaping projects across the campus, including around the Ko W.G. Donma Administration Building, Hugine Suites, the Student Plaza and the Crawford-Zimmerman Building.

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Most importantly, SC State is amid Conyers’ $1 million initiative to upgrade lighting and security technology, particularly around residence halls and classroom buildings. Davis, SC State’s associate vice president for facilities operations, said SC State expects to begin installing 700 cameras and 27 emergency call boxes across the campus in July.

Davis said the effort also includes safety measures at Hugine Suites, the university’s apartment-style housing complex for upperclassmen. The goal is to install hardware and software for electronic entry to each suite, giving the university better control over access. The infrastructure will be installed this summer with the new locks expected in 2023.

Meanwhile, Hugine Suites residents will see some immediate improvements at the complex. The university is replacing carpet in all bedrooms and common spaces in buildings C and D, while patching and painting walls each entire suite in both buildings. Some suites’ walls in other Hugine buildings also are being patched and painted on a priority basis. In late July, all entrances to Hugine Suites buildings will be pressure washed.

Other residence halls also are amid upgrades:

• In Battiste Hall, corridors on five floors and all suites on the second and third floors are being painted.

• In Mitchell Hall, the university is replacing all toilet and urinal valves along with all broken toilets and urinals. The bathrooms also are getting new stalls, flooring, ceilings, lighting and paint.

• In Earle Hall, SC State is renovating the lobby and bathrooms with upgrades to flooring and ceilings while painting the lobby and all bathroom partitions.

Also underway:

• SC State is renovating the Crawford-Zimmerman Building’s lobby to be a welcoming spot for students and families as they come to visit the university’s Enrollment Management Offices for admissions, registration and financial aid, as well as the bookstore. The lobby’s bathrooms also are being upgraded.

• The Ko W.G. Donma Administration Building is getting a fresh coat of paint.

• All classrooms on Nance Hall’s first, second and third floors are getting new flooring, as will some classrooms and offices on a priority basis.

In the works:

• The university is amid the design phase for the Kirkland W. Green Student Center’s renovations. Space allocations were recently completed, and university officials met with architects this week. The university has identified $4.4 million for an interior overhaul of Student Center. The project includes upgrades to lighting, HVAC, windows, doors, life safety and all finishes.

• A new Student Center outdoor pavilion will be erected near the Student Plaza to provide shade for students. The project is in the design phase with construction expected to begin before students return for the Fall Semester in August.

• Historic Lowman Hall’s exterior wood will be pressure washed, primed and painted. The project is in the bid phase.

• In Smith Hammond Middleton Memorial Center, the university intends to replace 200 seats in the upper bowl and repair 125 others. SC State also will replace the telescoping seats opposite the players bench with new chairbacks. Athletics will have a sample on hand soon, and all work is scheduled to be completed before the start of basketball season.

• Smith Hammond Middleton also will receive a new state-of-the-art sound system. The equipment has been ordered.

• The Fine Arts Building will receive an automated HVAC control system thanks to a grant from Orangeburg County. A pre-construction meeting is set for this week.

• SC State will replace chillers for the HVAC systems at Lowman, Staley and Whittaker Halls, as well as Turner Hall’s A Wing.

• Interior renovations at Brooks Health Center are in the design phase. The building’s roof was replaced last spring.

Funding for the projects comes from a variety of sources, including deferred maintenance dollars from the state Legislature, funds made available by forgiving student debt using federal CARES Act money, the university’s direct share of CARES Act relief and other existing resources.

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All of this comes on the heels of spring projects at Moss Hall, Azalea Hall and other locations.

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