The College of Charleston is expanding west – by just over 1.5 miles.
In August 2017, CofC opened its newest administrative building at 176 Lockwood Blvd. across from Brittlebank Park, 1.7 miles from the main campus in the heart of downtown Charleston. Dubbed CofC at WestEdge, a nod to its location within the WestEdge mixed-use development near the Ashley River, the three-story, 24,000-square-foot building is the new location for the College’s Riley Center for Livable Communities, the Office of Procurement and the Controller’s Office.
Monica Scott, vice president for facilities planning, says the College purchased the building from the state, which previously used the space to house the S.C. Employment Securities Commission. The move of the departments, says Scott, was aimed at better utilizing space on the main campus.
“Procurement and the Controller’s Office are operations that can function well off the main campus, freeing up space on campus for uses that require more adjacencies to other departments,” says Scott.
There are no immediate plans for the space vacated by the offices of Procurement and Controller in the Lightsey Center on Calhoun Street, says Scott. The College of Charleston Foundation last month sold the King Street building the Riley Center previously occupied.
Riley Center Director Kendra Stewart says the move has brought all the center’s staff under one roof and offers more space to better support the center’s mission, including community outreach and student engagement. And, the new location includes a larger office for the center’s namesake, former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who has more room to display artifacts from his 40-plus years in public service.
“The new space greatly expands the center’s capacity to serve our clients and the College,” says Stewart. “We have a training room that will allow the Riley Center to conduct workshops, professional development and larger meetings on-site as well as a focus group room that other faculty and staff are able to use. And we have new, well-equipped work stations that are facilitating greater collaboration among Riley staff and students.”
The location within WestEdge, which aims to include facilities for research, is also a strategic benefit to the Riley Center.
“With a focus on applied research and collaboration through public and nonprofit partnerships, WestEdge is the ideal place for the Riley Center to be located,” Stewart says. “It allows the College to have a place within a developing research center in downtown Charleston.”