Throughout its history, the Evans Building has been at the center of Spartanburg, South Carolina’s educational system, serving as a local high school and junior high school for over 50 years, until it was abandoned in 1978. Spartanburg Community College has a main campus that lies 7 miles outside of the City of Spartanburg and viewed the restoration of the Evans Building as an opportunity to established a new downtown campus for the college, allowing it to reach a new target of students in the low income community that surrounds the campus
The new downtown campus is located in a neighborhood with high unemployment and is the only college in the area with emphasis on careers that require a 2-year degree. . The typical student enrolled at Spartanburg Community College is an average of 26 years old, 63% of the students are women, and the majority of students are the first members of their family to attend college.
NDC provided New Markets Tax Credit Equity to fill a financing gap that restored the Evan’s Building to its original 1920s grandeur and placed it on the National Register for Historic Places. The total project cost for the project was $15.5 million and was combined with other financing.
The project created 50 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs, as well as creating a state-of-the-art downtown campus that includes classrooms, computer labs, science labs, an auditorium and a gymnasium. In collaboration with local support organizations, the Campus also houses a one-stop career center that offers comprehensive workforce development and job placement programs targeted to low income community residents. The facility helps Spartanburg Community College focus on getting students trained for service and manufacturing jobs and then receive the support they need to set themselves on a successful career path.