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Spartanburg Community College celebrated the beautification of a major gateway into Spartanburg on Thursday.
A new sign with surrounding landscaping has been put up at the entrance to the college’s central campus at the Business 85 and New Cut Road interchange.
“I see the sign as more than just for Spartanburg Community College,” said SCC President Henry Giles. “I see it as a sign welcoming people to Spartanburg.”
The celebration included a number of officials with various partners on the project, including John Montgomery, CEO of Montgomery Development; Sue Schneider, CEO of Spartanburg Water; George Dodkin, warden of Livesay Correctional Institution; and Monty Mullen, chairwoman of the Spartanburg Spot of Pride Committee.
“The Business 85 effort will enhance our gateways and instill pride in our community,” Montgomery said.
Three years ago, Pacolet Milliken Enterprises completed a large landscaping effort at Interstates 85 and I-585, which had been a vision of the late philanthropist and textile magnate Roger Milliken, he said.
In 2015, the community college, local businesses and community leaders began working together to revitalize the Business 85 corridor, an eight-mile stretch that serves the Spartanburg County communities of Fairforest, Johnson City, Loan Oak, the SCC central campus and USC Upstate. Giles said.
“We became involved in this collaboration with other local leaders after addressing our own signage needs and our presence on Business I-85, which is what visitors see first when entering our central campus,” Giles said.
A section of old fence was removed in front of the campus. Vegetation and trees had been growing over the fence after years of neglect.
Later, a 6-foot chain-link fence in disrepair that ran between the I-85 interchange and the Highway 9 exit was taken down.
Giles credited Spartanburg County Administrator Katherine O’Neill, County Council Chairman Jeff Horton, former Mayor Bill Barnet and Schneider for their support. He also thanked Schneider for agreeing to paint a water tower at the interchange with Spartanburg Community College’s name.
Dodkin said inmates are used to help keep the roadways free of litter.