By C. Grant Jackson
Gilbane Building Company has been chosen as the primary developer of the new $300 million University of South Carolina health sciences campus to be developed in the BullStreet District in downtown Columbia.
The health sciences campus will be built on six acres on the northeast corner of Harden Street and Colonial Drive on land donated by Hughes Development Corp., the master developer for the BullStreet District
Gilbane, construction and development firm, headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, with offices on Columbia’s Devine Street, will serve as the primary developer and will lead planning, design, development and construction of the health sciences campus.
Construction is expected to begin in 2025 and be completed in 2027 on the first two buildings, a medical education building and a multidisciplinary research building.
“We are estimating the first students would be in the building in the fall of 2027,” university spokesman Jeff Stensland said.
State and local contractors involved in the health sciences campus, according to the university, include development consultant and minority- and women-owned business Restoration 52 of Greenville, construction manager Cummings of Columbia, and construction manager and minority business Brownstone Construction Group, also of Columbia.
Gilbane Building Company has developed buildings for USC over the last 17 years, with seven projects delivered on campus since 2005.
Projects include the Darla Moore School of Business; Discovery Plaza, a 110-square-foot biomedical research building and 1,400 space parking garage in the Innovista; and USC School of Law on Senate Street.
Ranked as the nation’s No. 1 education facilities builder by Engineering News-Record in 2021, Gilbane has vast experience in health care, health sciences and higher education-affiliated projects, including hospitals and university medical schools.
The university’s health sciences campus is expected to have a transformational impact on health science research and health care delivery in the state of South Carolina.
The campus will provide state-of-the-art space for clinical education and bring together eminent researchers to help meet South Carolina’s health challenges.
In addition to the initial two buildings, which will have an estimated 292,000 gross square feet, long-term plans for the campus include a brain center that will build on the university’s McCausland Center for Brain Imaging and offer South Carolinians more options for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other brain-related conditions.
The students and the faculty and staff to serve them will contribute to the health science campus being “a massive catalyst for development. The amount of stuff that will spin off of that site is going to be tremendous,” said Robert Hughes III, president of Greenville-based Hughes Development Corp.
The 181-acre BullStreet District is the largest city-center development east of the Mississippi River. It is home to Segra Park and the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team, residential, commercial, and retail development.