Columbia Star


by John Temple Ligon

Director of the CMA nominated

Karen Brosius, director of the Columbia Museum of Art, was nominated by President Bush for a seat on the board of the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Of the total $200 million distributed annually by the agency, about $2.5 million comes to South Carolina.

Corley Mill Road development

under way, finally

First controlled by Dallas-based Centex Homes, a 500-lot development parcel between Corley Mill Road and the Saluda River was bought by Columbia’s Riverclub Ventures last September. Riverclub more recently sold 61 lots to Mungo Homes, which plans pre-sales for the first of June. By then, Riverclub is expected to publicize its master plan for the site.

Room nights

The Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau expects to book at least 45,000 hotel/motel rooms for the 2006-07 fiscal year, up from about 29,000 in 2005-06. In the meantime, Columbia City Council is reviewing written complaints from recent convention groups disgruntled with the quality of service at the new convention center.

Charter schools

The General Assembly recently passed legislation to put together a statewide charter school district board, which allows charter school founders to by-pass local school districts. The total number of charter schools operating in the country is a little more than 3,600. There are 26 operating in South Carolina.

It is greater to give…

Greenville advertising executive Joe Erwin is chairman of the SC Democratic Party. According to the SC Ethics Commission, in 2005-06, he gave almost $62,000 to the party’s operating account, making himself his own party’s top donor. According to the Federal Election Commission, the money is just about gone. As of March 31, the Democrats were already down to about $7,000, while the SC Republican Party had about $266,000 in available cash.

Bull Street urban designer works New Orleans

Miami’s Andres Duany is the urban designer for Columbia’s Bull Street property and another 400 similar projects worldwide over the past 25 years. He is covering $150,000 in costs for himself and another dozen members of his firm to push his design and planning principals onto the streetscape of New Orleans. Local architects and planners are voicing fears New Orleans runs the risk of too much “me-too-ism” in its replication of Duany’s proven planning formulas.

Furman and leadership

The Riley Institute and its Diversity Leadership Academy at Greenville’s Furman University recently got word of a pending $500,000 gift from Wachovia Bank.

Thomas Cooper Library expansion

Construction began this week on two new wings to USC’s Thomas Cooper Library. Designed to house both the Rare Books and Special Collections section and the Political Collections section, the two new symmetrical wings combine for 72,000 square feet. The construction project is expected to take two years.

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