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SC university looks for new use for old Coliseum

Jan 24, 2011 12:06:00 AM - thestate.com
The University of South Carolina is considering a series of campus changes that would use the Carolina Coliseum for a variety of purposes and allow the university to accommodate its growing population of students.

With the opening of Colonial Life Arena in 2002, Carolina Coliseum has sat as a concrete question mark. Should the facility be razed? Should it be preserved as a smaller athletic venue? And what about the classroom space it offers even while the university's basketball teams hoop it up down the street?

Proposed changes to the university's master plan call for the coliseum to be converted to 450,000 square feet of space that can be used for academics. Those proposed changes, drawn up by the Boston-based design firm Sasaki Associates, contain no estimates for how much renovating the coliseum would cost.

William T. Moore, USC's vice president for finance and planning, said the changes at Carolina Coliseum - called an "adaptive reuse" in the architectural world - could cost as much as $137 million.

"That's why it's only a concept," Moore said.

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