ROCK HILL, S.C. - State House budget writers this week added $1 million to their spending plan for Winthrop University to use in adding an auditorium to Thurmond Hall, which houses the university’s College of Business Administration.
Rep. Herb Kirsh, D-Clover, a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, is credited by university officials for successfully leading the initiative.
Winthrop President Anthony DiGiorgio said the university is "very grateful for Rep. Kirsh’s initiative and tenacity in pursuing this goal. He felt he had relationships in place in Columbia that would make this additional appropriation possible, and asked us how we would use such funds if they became available. We told him, he set to work, and in a matter of a few days, it has become a part of the spending plan that will be recommended to the full House in a couple of weeks. We couldn’t be more pleased."
While cost estimates for adding an auditorium to the Thurmond Building are about $2.8 million, the university hopes the state dollars might help attract private support as well, officials said. The College of Business Administration is the only one of Winthrop’s four major colleges that does not have its own dedicated auditorium, which limits opportunities to bring students and members of the business community together as often as would be possible with its own facility. Plans for the auditorium also call for including a “decision support lab,” which many businesses use as a technological aid to assist in evaluating various scenarios prior to making key business decisions.
The special appropriation for Thurmond will be part of the overall state budget that goes to the full House floor on March 15. After that, the Senate will write its budget plan, and any differences will be worked out in conference committee. The state budget is generally finalized by the General Assembly in June, in time to take effect with the beginning of the fiscal year July 1.
For more information, contact Rebecca Masters, assistant to the president for public affairs, at 803/323-2225.