Infrastructure Project Recognized for Engineering Excellence
(left to right) Chad Wadford, GWA, Inc. Project Manager; Michael Dempsey, GWA, Inc. Electrical Designer for HGTC project; S. Dickson O’Brien, PE and President of GWA, Inc.; Jeff Mulliken, ACEC-SC President.
Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) and GWA, Inc. were recently recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies of South Carolina (ACEC-SC) for engineering excellence pursuant to the campus renovation that was completed in April 2022. The annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala was held at the Columbia Museum of Art and presented awards to the submitted projects with the highest scores in twelve categories. GWA, Inc. was honored with both an Engineering Excellence Award and a Small Firm award by ACEC-SC for the work on the HGTC Grand Strand Campus Infrastructure project.
Formerly operated as the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, the Grand Strand Campus is HGTC's largest campus in physical size and comprised of nearly 72 acres with six buildings, including the Dr. Robert E. Speir, Jr. Healthcare Education Center and the Charles F. Freeman Community Dental Clinic. The Grand Strand Campus is the headquarters for the College's Workforce Development Division and home of the famous International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach.
The Grand Strand Campus Infrastructure Project updated building envelopes and improved their energy efficiency, enhanced vehicular and pedestrian traffic flows, significantly enhanced exterior lighting across the campus, and increased aesthetic appeal. Work was completed using a phased approach to allow the use of all campus facilities throughout construction activities.
The Grand Strand Campus enrolls thousands of students annually in a wide variety of curriculum programs, such as culinary, dental, personal services, healthcare, legal studies, and university transfer.
Construction began in August 2020 to renovate Buildings 100 (Former Gym), 200 (Classrooms and Student Services), and 300 (HGTC Foundation, Library, Paralegal Studies Courtroom). The campus transformation included significant renovations to the existing sidewalks, curbing, and overall landscaping throughout the campus. Improvements to the campus also included removing the existing overhead power lines and relocating that infrastructure underground.
Prior to 2020, there was extensive planning and studies in preparation for this project. The overall budget included approximately $8.4 million in building and infrastructure enhancements and an additional $900,000 in campus landscaping that was funded by the City of Myrtle Beach, the Horry County Penny Sales Tax, College Plant Funds, the Horry County Transportation Committee, and the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority.