The quarter-century before the presidential retirement of President Emeritus Anthony DiGiorgio was especially transformative for Winthrop’s campus and environs. With little capital support for new construction from the state of South Carolina during most of that time, Winthrop’s ninth president saw Winthrop would have to be the author of its own future – and its own financier to build much needed campus facilities and acquire room for growth. Among those accomplishments:
- Winthrop expanded its campus to ensure capacity for long-term future growth through the 2007 purchase of a 15-acre tract of property west of campus from the American Legion.
- In 2010, through President DiGiorgio’s development of a long-term land-use compact with the City of Rock Hill, Winthrop was able to purchase a 12.4-acre Operations Center from the City of Rock Hill, which had constructed a new center elsewhere in the community. It is now the Winthrop University Operations Center.
- Winthrop, in cooperation with the City of Rock Hill, in 2000 initiated tandem economic development planning for several urban core locations: Downtown Rock Hill, the College Town area immediately around Winthrop, and the Knowledge Park area between Winthrop and Downtown Rock Hill.
As the 20th century turned to the 21st, Winthrop completed a series of new or adapted facilities designed to serve the needs and expectations of 21st century students. Those projects, valued at more than $100 million include:
- Dalton Hall, a new Life Sciences Building – and the first new building on the Winthrop campus in more than three decades.
- Sims Building, a major renovation to complete Winthrop’s updated sciences complex.
- The West Center, a 120,000-square-foot, state of the art health, physical education, sport, human performance and wellness facility.
- Carroll Hall, a new high-tech facility for the College of Business Administration, including the Carroll Capital Markets Trading and Training Center.
- Owens Hall, a 32,200-square-foot a high-tech general-use classroom building.
The DiGiorgio Campus Center, named by the Board of Trustees to honor the DiGiorgios. This 128,000-square-foot facility houses activities and meeting spaces for clubs and organizations, student recreational facilities, Markley’s food court, Starbucks, the Winthrop University Bookstore, post office facilities, Student Life offices and board meeting facilities.
- Major utilities infrastructure and chiller plant upgrades to support growth.
- Hardin Family Garden, a donor-supported outdoor facility designed for teaching and learning in a variety of disciplines, as well as a place for individual reflection.
- Restoration and addition of reflection garden to the Little Chapel, where Winthrop’s first president, David Bancroft Johnson, and his wife are entombed.
- Scholars Walk, the central promenade of the Winthrop campus that connects Winthrop’s beginnings – the Little Chapel -- to its future: major facilities joined by special green spaces along a pedestrian walk spanning the heart of campus.
- Permanent and rotating outdoor art installations, including student art.
- Dacus Library, completed in 1969 and named for the school's first librarian, Ida Jane Dacus.
- Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections, with a generous gift from a donor, was recently relocated to a 20,000 square-foot building to hold six million items, including original papers relating to Winthrop's history and South Carolina history.
- Renovations to Tillman Hall, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, included a new roof and wiring upgrades in 2008-2009. The building houses administrative spaces, including the president’s office.
- Piedmont Wetlands Area at Winthrop Lake, created in partnership with Rock Hill Schools in 2004, offers scientific research opportunities for students from elementary through collegiate levels.
- Renovations to Winthrop Coliseum, the 6,100-seat headquarters for the athletic department as well as university and local high schools’ commencements, included new seats and scoreboard, family-friendly food services, concourse monitors of events inside, and improved walkways.
- Memorial Tennis Courts, completed in 2003, include 12 lighted courts, seating for 300. The courts were named for members of the men's tennis team who were involved in a tragic highway accident in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 1993.
- Winthrop Ballpark, one of the most impressive collegiate ballparks in the South was built in 2001 with a second phase completed in 2008. The facility holds 1,800 spectators.
The new Irwin Belk Track, named for Charlotte businessman and philanthropist Irwin “Ike” Belk , is home to the Eagle track & field teams, and encircles a full-sized practice field for soccer, as well as areas for field events, such as discus and pole vault.
- Intramural Recreation Fields, a student use facility located at the Winthrop Recreational and Research Complex, features two lighted fields and a building that meets multiple needs for Recreational Services.
Following a tragic 2007 attack on the campus of Virginia Tech, institutions across the nation elevated campus precautions to guard against such events as well as planning for managment of such critical issues. Winthrop supplemented its campus safety and notification systems:
- Adding cell-phone text alert capacity.
- Installing ALERTUS beacons in every building on campus.
- Implementing blanket computer terminal emergency notices, etc., to alert the campus community to especially threatening weather conditions, such as tornadoes, or any other unusual situation threatening the peace and security of the campus.
- Sponsoring and hosting annual statewide campus safety conferences to share best practices with other institutions.