The Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Culinary Institute of the South could break ground on its facility this spring.
Chef Miles Huff, the new institute’s dean, spoke to Hardeeville City Council at its Jan. 17 meeting.
“We have gone through phase one with the state and we have to go through phase two for approval, but would like to break ground in the spring,” Huff told council.
The 26,000-square-foot facility will be located at Buckwalter Place in Bluffton and constructed at an estimated cost of $11.2 million. It will have the capacity for 300 students.
Huff said degrees will be offered in culinary arts, baking-pastry and hospitality.
“I have overlaid my degree program with USC Beaufort so a student can basically do two years with us and go on to continue at USCB and work on their bachelors and continue their education,” he said
Huff said the facility will include a culinary arts interpretive center.
“When you enter the building, there will be an interpretive center that will feature Southern, Lowcountry, Gullah-Geechee cuisine,” he said.
“This will be an interactive area with displays and we will also have a 50-seat restaurant that will be open to the public. There will also be an 85-seat amphitheater with two cooking stations.”
Huff told council he is seeking some local facilities to hold the institute’s first classes before the facility is completed.
“We have to have classes before we go into the new building so that once we enter the building, the students have already had some classes to be ready to work in the building,” Huff said.
“I have already written the degree program, and it is now going for approval through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the technical college system. Once that is done, we’re going to move right into starting to teach in the spring and fall.”
Mary Lee Carns, TCL’s vice president for institutional advancement and external relations, said all of the culinary institute’s funding is local.
“Not a state penny is going into this school,” Carns said. “This really is the community’s school.”
Hardeeville Mayor Harry Williams wished Huff and Carns luck with the new school.
“On behalf of the city and council, we wish you lots of luck,” he said. “It is something that is needed for the area.”
By Shellie Murdaugh from the Bluffton Today.
Published January 25, 2019