By Liz Segrist
Published Oct. 21, 2013
The American College of the Building Arts plans to move most of its operations from the city jail to the trolley barn on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston.
The school is in the early stages of working with a developer to move into the 22,000-square-foot space on Meeting Street, pending city approvals, said Kerri Forrest, the college’s institutional advancement director. The adjoining building would have student housing as well.
|Sam Friedman, from Madison, Wis., and a student at the American College of the Building Arts, works on a project at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site near Summerville. (Photo/Leslie Burden)|
The college has had a lease on the space with the city for a few years. Forrest declined to name the developer.
The college needs more capacity for additional equipment, an anticipated increase in its student body, and the consolidation of its two locations.
The college currently houses the majority of its 50 students at the Old Charleston District Jail at 21 Magazine St. in downtown Charleston. Its carpentry, timber-framing and iron-working students attend classes on James Island.
The college plans to increase its student body by up to 200 students by 2017. The jail can’t accommodate that many students, Forrest said.
“The idea is to create a traditional building center of excellence so, conceptually, we are also planning to house a business incubator to help graduates and other local artisans launch their own businesses, as well as a gallery/store for graduates and students to sell their work,” Forrest said in an emailed statement.
There will also be space for other preservation-related organizations who may be interested in expanding, Forrest said. Administrative offices would remain at the jail for now, Forrest said.
The four-year liberal arts college offers programs for iron trades, wood trades, trowel trades and general education and electives. It has held the city jail property since 1999, but the college has held classes there since 2009.
Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.