Sep
19

USC Buys 298 Acres of Floodplain for $3.25 Million

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The University of South Carolina ended up the surprise high bidder for 300 acres of clear-cut riverfront property in U.S. bankruptcy court Thursday, after a nearby mining company decided not to ante up.

USC plans to put in intramural playing fields, a practice golf course and other amenities for students on the flood-prone land — perhaps by next school year, said Russ Meekins, director of the USC Development Foundation.

Early in Thursday’s daylong hearing before Judge David Duncan, it was clear that Vulcan Materials Co. had backed off the expected bidding war with USC for the land just a quarter-mile from its Columbia quarry. Meekins was surprised by the turn of events, he said.

He came to court expecting an auction for the property behind Gamecock Park, a tailgate destination off Bluff Road. Then he was informed Vulcan was sticking with its original $3 million bid, which USC had bested by $250,000.

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