Trident Technical College, MUSC included in House spending plan

The House Ways and Means Committee has given final budget approval to give the Trident Technical College’s Aeronautical Training Center the $16 million it needs to go forward with the project.

COLUMBIA — Several Lowcountry entities, including Trident Technical College’s Aeronautical Training Center and Patriots Point, have been allocated funds in the House budget-writing panel’s roughly $7.5 billion spending plan.

The Ways and Means Committee gave final approval Thursday to the budget and the capital reserve fund — the state’s rainy day coffer — which includes $16 million for the Aeronautical Training Center and $3 million for the Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum.

Gathering money for Trident Tech’s training center has been a three-year process. The school announced in 2013 that it wanted to build a $79 million, 215,000-square-foot space intended to help sculpt a local workforce for the aeronautical cluster in the region, including Boeing, and its suppliers and vendors.

Trident Tech had already collected $63 million and is short the $16 million to go forward with the project, said the school President Mary Thornley.

“This gives us the capability and capacity to provide skilled workers for the high-paying jobs and advanced manufacturing that is occurring in the aeronautical industry,” Thornley said.

The House spending proposal also includes $1.5 million for a helicopter landing pad for the Medical University of South Carolina.

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While the money has been allocated for these projects and more, receiving the money is still far from reality. The House as a whole has to approve the bill, and then the state budget goes to the Senate. In 2015, the Senate failed to pass the budget before the session ended on June 4, forcing the General Assembly to return for a special session.

Reach Cynthia Roldan at 843-708-5891.