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Education: Lifelong learning center will move again

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

The Waccamaw Higher Education Center is on the move again. Coastal Carolina University has leased 6,500 square feet next to the Bi-Lo at Litchfield Landing to house its local campus.

The lease began Monday, said Linda Ketron, head of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina.

In December, the university moved out of a leased building on Willbrook Boulevard the had been built by private investors to its specifications in 2004. It leased 7,000 square feet at Litchfield Exchange for lifelong learning classrooms, but the extent and cost of renovations was more than the university wanted to take on, Ketron said.

Half of the institute’s nearly 3,000 members use the Litchfield facility, and classes were shuttled around in the spring term. “People were unbelievably patient,” Ketron said. “They said, ‘We want the classes. Please don’t cancel.’”

Attendance was down by about 50, which Ketron said was probably due to the closing of the computer lab.

The support for the institute during the transition will help as the Coastal Carolina facility seeks a second $1 million endowment grant from the Osher Foundation. It received the first grant soon after announcing the Willbrook building would close.

Coastal Carolina has leased the former site of Litchfield Books and two other spaces at Litchfield Landing. They will be configured to provide six classrooms and a common area.

The institute will have enough room for all its classes and students. It even plans to add a few teachers, Ketron said.

It still won’t have a computer lab. “For this term we’re going to focus on mobile devices and not try to wire the whole thing,” she said.

She has three possible opening dates: Sept. 13, 30 or Oct. 15. “We’ll hit one,” she said.

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