Posted By Alan Donald @ May 1st 2024 4:16pm In: Charleston

Container Ship SC Ports Matthew Peacock

Image courtesy of SC Ports - Matthew Peacock

What a diverse mix of local news we have to share with you this month! Since we’re short on space (and time) to provide many details, be sure to use the links provided to find out more about the items that interest you most.

In industrial news, SC Ports experienced a significant increase in year-over-year container volume growth in March, driven largely by “a 17% increase in loaded imports and strong intermodal cargo movements”. TEUs increased 12%, pier containers 11% and vehicles 15% over March of last year. Containers moved at Inland Ports Greer and Dillon were up 8%, while rail moves were up 22% at Inland Port Greer. This growth in port activity reflects the strong Southeast market in which SC Ports operates.

Regarding major infrastructure, Charleston International Airport may soon be expanding thanks largely to $23 million in federal funding. Likely to consist of two phases, current discussions center on a 6-story parking garage, a rental car pavilion, a third concourse, a new overnight aircraft parking area and expansion of the current ticket hall and TSA checkpoint areas, totaling almost $1 billion. The aim is to better accommodate passenger growth and new direct flights. 

In the education sector, we are happy to share that two new academic schools will be created at the College of Charleston. They will be the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics and the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. With the College’s current STEM-related departments consolidated into these two new schools, the College aims to better serve the region’s growing tech, manufacturing and engineering sectors as well as “tackle complex environmental challenges facing our world today”.

Also on the environmental front, the Charleston area is sure to benefit from the recent award of almost $125 million in federal funds for the launch of statewide programs focused on expanding renewable and clean energy solutions intended to help meet growing energy demands. Two specific areas of focus are expected to be residential-serving community solar and a clean energy workforce.

As for the non-profit sector, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $2 million in seed funding to Turn90, a Charleston- and Columbia-based non-profit organization founded by Amy Barch to expand delivery of its unique approach to assist former inmates achieve success after prison through cognitive behavioral therapy, on-the-job training and personalized support.

A range of upcoming recreational opportunities - facilities and major events - have also been announced recently. Three new recreational facilities are at various stages of planning and development in Mount Pleasant: A state-of-the-art indoor golf facility with Trackman simulators for virtual play on course favorites - The Bays on Coleman - is scheduled to open this summer; the SC Surf Soccer Club has just broken ground on a 3-field soccer facility for youth soccer off Hwy 17 North with help from an anonymous family-owned charitable foundation; and a new 100-acre park is in the planning stages for a site off of Rifle Range Road. We will have to wait a few years, but perhaps the biggest news is that the PGA of America will be bringing the 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships and the 2031 PGA Championship to Kiawah Island Golf Resort!

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