FMU looks to refurbish old downtown post office


FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) Francis Marion University is working on several major construction projects set to provide capacity for new academic programs.

The projects include refurbishing the old post office in downtown Florence, the construction of an Honors Center on FMU’s main campus, construction of the freshwater ecology laboratory and conference center located on property North of the main campus, a final addition to the Griffin Athletic Complex field house, remodeling of the Smith University Center’s athletic facilities, residence hall renovations and the new Dargan Street facility in the LS Rainwater building.

FMU President Dr.Fred Carter told News13 the old post office project will be the most expensive at 8 million dollars.

“The project will be more tedious because we’re altering the building inside so much in the process. In many ways, it’s easier to build a new building than to renovate that type of old building,” Carter said.

The old post office will become a new Medical Education Complex. It is located right across from FMU’s Carter Center for Health Sciences building and will maintain the same outward appearance.

“We won’t change much on the outside because it’s a beautiful building. Going into an old post office and turning that into laboratories and clinics and office space for medical, health, and science faculty will take a fair amount of work.”

Over the last ten years, the university has grown their health and science programs. One upcoming freshman said she chose the university with the nursing programs in mind.

“For it to be low tuition, they have so much to offer that you can choose from and with my program that I’m going into they have a lot of different tools and resources that I can use,” said Maleah Carter.

There are a total of seven projects FMU is working on. Dr.Carter said the improvements won’t affect tuition.

“We partner with different entities like the City of Florence, the Drs Bruce and Lee Foundation. We’ve been successful in getting some state appropriation, and frankly we worked hard at raising some private funds,” Dr. Carter added.

All projects are expected to be complete by 2022.

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