Amid questions about how some of the initial grant money was spent, South Carolina State University officials hope to begin construction soon on the first phase of a transportation research center announced 12 years ago.
Little has been done at the proposed $80 million James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center, announced in 1998 to conduct research and train workers in the transportation industry, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Monday.
The university had $23.3 million in grants from the U.S. Transportation Department originally, but was not able to get the grant renewed in 2006. A federal audit on one of those grants, the National Summer Transportation Institute, found financial records were confusing and accountants could not tell where money went.
Joseph Pearman, assistant vice president for business and finance, said the university put into effect a new financial recording system a few years ago. He said it is hard to access records from the old system, and he can't explain how much of the money was spent and whether any is left.
The newspaper reported programs at the school are surviving with leftover grants.