Hilton Head council approves on-campus housing at University of South Carolina-Beaufort

Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 5:04 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2023 at 6:21 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - The Hilton Head Town Council officially made a change that will allow on campus housing at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort campus on the island.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, property off Sea Pines Circle was approved for mixed-use, meaning it can be re-developed into housing among other things.

That housing will be for the area’s workforce, including its hospitality students at USCB Hilton Head who will be able to live on campus for the first time ever.

”Students are going to want to come to school here. They’re going to want to come to school without a 25 mile drive that can take up to 2 hours,” Eva Smith said.

Right now many students who take classes on Hilton Head, like Abby Doyle, live at the Bluffton campus forcing them to have to worry about traffic.

”There’s always something that I have to make sure I’m leaving at least an hour or an hour and a half.”

She’s a junior majoring in hospitality a 100 student program the university is hoping to grow over the coming years. ”We, the University of South Carolina Beaufort, we are developing the workforce.”

Abby’s an example of that, heading from class to her job most days a job the school helped her get.

”Marriot vacation club came to one of classes freshman year and they were offering internships.”

She, like many of her peers, can’t live where she learns or works but if she could.

”I would do it in a heartbeat. That would be awesome.”

That’s the opportunity the university now has. USCB now hoping within the next 18 months these plans will turn to reality, and their students will be able to walk to class not drive.

”People come to this school for Hilton Head Island and being able to live on Hilton Head Island would be a total game changer.”

The preliminary plans of this mixed use housing suggest 16 units would be designated specifically for USCB Hilton Head meaning around 60 students could live right here within the next two years.