Trident Technical College announced today the creation of a new Mount Pleasant campus, with plans to offer classes as early as this fall.
Trident will operate a campus off of Hungryneck Boulevard, near U.S. Highway 17, at the site of the former Bassett Furniture store and will accommodate more than 1,000 students, Mary Thornley, president of Trident Tech, said at a news conference this morning.
“It’s an historic morning,” Thornley said. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be here. There is a reason we’re here. We’re trying to take the college to the students.”
Thornley said that the new campus will be a full-service campus, featuring a learning center along with computer and general classroom space. The new facility also will provide services for placement testing, registration and financial aid.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails said that the town and Trident started working on the partnership last April.
“Trident didn’t come to us,” Swails said. “We were on our knees begging Trident to come to Mount Pleasant. This isn’t just for the town of Mount Pleasant. A lot of people will be using this facility. It’s a great partnership.”
The partnership is keeping with the town’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan to recruit higher education institutions to the city to promote economic development and professional education.
“We’ve had a lot of success in 2010,” Swails said. “This is a perfect example of a 10-month overnight success.”
Phase One renovations at the new Mount Pleasant site will cost about $500,000, college officials said, and will be completed before classes begin in August. Renovation work in Phase Two, scheduled for completion in 2012, will include additional classroom and laboratory spaces. Once all work is completed, the new site will provide an additional 24,000 square feet to the Trident Tech system.
General courses, such as English and math, will be offered at the campus this fall, along with classes in computer graphics, digital photography, computer animation, computer imagery and engineering design.
Officials said that classes and training programs at the new facility will complement Trident’s programs at Wando High School, but won’t replace them.
With the new campus, Trident will have four campuses in the Lowcountry, including its main campus in North Charleston and campuses in downtown Charleston and Moncks Corner. Trident also has sites in Summerville, Hollywood and St. George.