New Campus Opening

By Tim Flach-

The newest Midlands Technical College campus in Batesburg-Leesville — much-anticipated by town leaders and residents alike — opens Monday. Here's a look at it.

The campus — the smallest of five in the Midlands Tech system — seems off the beaten path. Why did it go here?

Leaders of the small town at a rural crossroads sought the campus as a vehicle to help enhance its image and economy.

They gave Midlands Tech a corner of a town park, renting it to the college for $1 annually for 99 years. Town Hall also is pitching in on upkeep.

With area growth projected to continue heading west in Lexington County, college officials saw a chance to fill a void. Their nearest campus adjoining Columbia Metropolitan Airport is a 45-minute drive for students coming from the area.

What does the campus look like?

It debuts as a single facility — looking much like any professional office — with a half-dozen classrooms, media center, small dining area and a few rooms for personnel. It can host courses telecast from elsewhere.

The $1.35 million facility has more than 8,000 square feet. A half-dozen staffers are based there.

What classes are offered?

Initially, it is offering 18 basic credit courses in English, history, mathematics, psychology, biology and more. In addition, there is some vocational instruction in computers, cosmetology and business.

Enrollment is about 50, but town leaders expect it will average 300 soon. Most students are expected to come from nearby small towns and farms. It probably will remain the smallest Midlands Tech satellite for a while.

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