Call it a bachelor's in bean-counting: The Citadel has been approved to offer students accounting as a new major for its undergraduates.

The Charleston military college announced last week that its Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business plans to start offering the four-year degree to the Corps of Cadets in the fall term.

The S.C. Commission on Higher Education recently approved a request to reclassify accounting from “a concentration pathway” to a full-fledged academic major.

“It is our hope that this change formalizes the rich accounting curriculum we already have in place in the Baker School of Business,” said Liz Washington Arnold, associate professor of accounting and accounting program director. “We want potential employers of our students to be clear about the courses of study our graduates completed and the high-quality accounting training they received.”

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11 percent job growth for the accounting industry by 2024, according to The Citadel.

The College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University both offer the discipline as a major for undergrads.

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Charleston Logistics Center

Ridge Development plans to build two speculative industrial buildings at the Charleston Logistics Center along the Interstate 26 corridor in Berkeley County. Provided

Spec structures

Volvo Cars is driving investment to the U.S. Interstate 26 corridor near the automaker's Berkeley County manufacturing campus.

Chicago-based Ridge Development, a subsidiary of Transwestern Development Co., announced last week it has broken ground on a speculative industrial site not far from the future car factory, where production begins next year.

The 63-acre Charleston Logistics Center, at Jedburg Road and Drop Off Drive, will feature two buildings totaling 686,300 square feet and parking for up to 404 vehicles and 152 trucks.

The first structure is expected to be ready for tenants during the first quarter of 2018.

"Charleston is ramping up for significant growth in the industrial market, driven by the Port of Charleston and corporate expansions that have added 9,000 jobs in the region," said Steve Kros, executive vice president of Ridge. "The market is served by a single interstate, creating a scarcity of functional sites for industrial development."

Ridge purchased the land in May for $3.625 million.

Heavy metal

A rebound in global aluminum prices has analysts taking a second look at Century Aluminum, owner of the Mount Holly smelter in Goose Creek.

Recent estimates for Century's quarterly earnings, to be released on Aug. 2, are ranging as high as 28 cents per share — a 12 percent increase over the past month. That compares to a loss of 5 cents per share the company posted during the first quarter of this year.

The target for annualized earnings is now $1.03 per share — up nearly 10 percent from month-ago estimates, according to a news release from Nasdaq, the exchange where Century stock is traded.

Meanwhile, Century's stock price hit a 52-week high last month and is hovering above $16 per share. That is nearly three times the stock's 52-week low set in September.

The surge is set against the backdrop of higher aluminum prices, hovering above $1,900 per metric ton compared to less than $1,500 per metric ton three years ago. The increase is largely the result of high demand and low global output.

While all of this is good news for investors, it isn't particularly helpful to the roughly 300 people working at the Mount Holly smelter. Century is suing Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility that provides electricity to the smelter, over power costs at the facility. Mike Bless, Century's president and CEO, said during a conference call this year that Mount Holly's future "depends squarely on solving the power issue."

Century cut Mount Holly's capacity to 50 percent and laid off 300 workers in 2015 because of the stalemate with Santee Cooper. The company's lawsuit against the power provider is pending.

All tide up

Last week’s news that Travel + Leisure readers had picked Charleston as the nation’s best city again gave the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau an opportunity to unveil the first video from its new production company.

"The Rhythm of Charleston," produced by Stowaway, starts with the tide that sets the pace for the Lowcountry.

"Twice a day every day, the tide comes in and the tide flows out," the narrator says in a soothing Southern voice. "This constant evolution, this daily rebirth, in many ways is the rhythm that drives our lives, the preservation of the moment, those precious times when everything seems just right."

The video shows the city’s buildings, food, art and people. It also incorporates the image of the horse carriage, that ubiquitous nod to the city’s past that’s come under fire lately from those worried about the animals’ welfare.

In this case, the horse is pulling only two people on a quiet street, as easy as floating with the tide.

Staff reports