By John A. Alston, News & Courier Staff Reporter, Friday, October 27, 1972
College Facility Planned
Working under the prodding of Gov. John C. West, two state commissions tentatively agreed here Thursday to pursue coordinated plans for the development of the Marine Resources Center at Fort Johnson.
At the same time, officials unveiled plans for a $1.2 million building at the center which would house various facilities suitable for use by researchers and graduate students.
The building would be financed by the state and federal governments with state funds coming from a proposed $600,000 capital improvements bond issue.
Meeting all day at the center were the S.C. Wildlife and Marine Resources Commission and representatives of the S.C. Commission on Higher Education (HEC).
Most of the discussion centered on two points:
- How can the Marine Resources Center be developed so as to adequately serve all the coastal laboratory needs of state educational institutions?
- Will a proposed $500,000 coastal laboratory, to be built by the College of Charleston on land adjoining the Resources Center, duplicate developments slated for the center?
According to Dr. James A. Timmerman, director of the center, the proposed building would include a library, conference room, classrooms and a computer system.
The College of Charleston proposal is to develop large undergraduate classroom-laboratories on land it owns adjoining the center.
The Citadel would also be permitted to used the facilities.
Though the HEC will decide the College of Charleston issue, representatives of that body were invited Thursday to tour the Marine Resources Center.
Center officials said they wanted to acquaint the commissioners with the facilities and plans.
All participants agreed a coordinated development for all South Carolina universities was desirable, and Gov. West underlined his own position.
“The whole concept of this facility is that it would serve all of the educational institutions in the state,” he said. “I hope it will be used to its fullest extent.”
Surfacing at several points in the debate were fears that individual educational institutions might want to set up independent coastal laboratories.
Several of the education commissioners said they hoped to prevent that and West’s appearance left little doubt as to the administration’s thinking.
After several hours of debate, Joseph Hudson, chairman of the Wildlife Commission, suggested that the two commissions form a subcommittee to discuss development plans for the Marine Resources Center.