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CIU Leading the Way for Monticello Road Economic Development

Columbia International University is joining with community leaders for a revitalization of the Monticello Road corridor beginning with the groundbreaking of the $20 million William H. Jones Global Business & IT Center at the entrance to the CIU campus.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and other dignitaries will be on hand as CIU holds a ceremonial groundbreaking May 3 at 11 a.m. for the Center. The William H. Jones Business and IT Center has four primary goals:

  1. Educate university students in best practices for Business and IT and how to integrate those skills into the global world.
  2. Provide a corporate training room for Columbia area business professionals to act as a catalyst for business development.
  3. Enhance the campus IT functionality and infrastructure for all staff and students.
  4. Provide a high school “Young Professionals Business/IT Academy” for the students of Ben Lippen School, CIU’s Pre-K to 12th grade Christian school.

The groundbreaking will also signal CIU’s commitment to the revitalization of Monticello Road. Six properties on Monticello Road have been purchased by CIU or are under contract for the purpose of economic development of the corridor. Redevelopment of the properties is scheduled for this summer. CIU is in negotiations for two other properties.

CIU President Dr. Mark Smith envisions a more vibrant Monticello Road for the people of North Columbia that will attract businesses from the I-20 interchange to the CIU campus. He has been in economic development discussions with developers, city leaders and the governor, and plans to meet with South Carolina U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, as well as Congressman Jim Clyburn in Washington in late May.

“Every day I’m working actively to develop the area and enhance the community,” Smith said.  

The Global Business & IT Center is named for CIU Chancellor Dr. William H. “Bill” Jones who is known around Columbia for conducting downtown Bible studies with area business professionals. He served as CIU president from 2007-2017.         

CIU is experiencing growth in enrollment and has announced $25 million in expansion plans for the campus. CIU is accredited by SACS-COC. Information on CIU programs and enrollment is available here or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.

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