HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - The University of South Carolina Beaufort is getting ready to open it’s new campus.
The $25 million project is on Hilton Head Island. This isn’t their first campus on the island, but they know this one will stick.
Many university leaders focused on there being no better place for their Hospitality Management Department than Hilton Head Island, where they host close to three million tourists each year.
“These doors that we open today are ours, USCB’s, and all Hilton Head Islanders," said Dr. Al B. Panu, University of South Carolina, Chancellor.
When the doors opened Wednesday, people rushed to get their first sight and picture of the new state of the art facility. Its design is dedicated entirely to the USCB Hospitality Management Program with a demo kitchen and beverage lab. Sophomore Samantha Moore says she can’t believe she gets learn in this facility.
“Everyone is just kind of in a state of shock. This is something that hasn’t been done before and we’re just such a growing university. We’re real excited to get our feet wet in the industry so we can take classes, and then afterward, we can work here," Moore said.
The idea is that 80 to 90 students will go to school there and then head out the door to work on Hilton Head Island, a premiere hospitality management industry, to learn their way around the kitchen. The dean of the Hilton Head Island campus says the class schedule is designed not to have students in the classrooms on Fridays, but in the field, working.
“One of the greatest needs on Hilton Head Island is a qualified workforce, so we’re going to have students working while they are in school putting theory to practice, but also earning money to pay for college. It’s a win win situation," Charles Calvert said.
Hundreds celebrated the official ribbon cutting Wednesday morning after almost a year-and-a-half of construction.
The open house was just a sneak peek. The doors will officially open to students later this month.