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The “higher educrats” seeking control of South Carolina’s economic development efforts secretly unveiled their latest multi-million dollar monument to taxpayer-funded ineptitude earlier this week – a 78,000-square foot, state-of-the-art “Innovation Center” in the heart of one of the state’s most expensive business districts.

Part of S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell’s elaborate “pyramid scheme” to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into South Carolina’s already wasteful and inefficient higher education system, this latest publicly-funded boondoggle will serve as the new home for the S.C. Research Authority.

Wait, who?

Yeah … for those of you who don’t remember, this is the group whose “economic development” philosophy consists of ripping off entrepreneurs and small businesses to supplement South Carolina’s skyrocketing research university budgets – a scam that’s ongoing, incidentally.

You would think plummeting state revenues and the complete collapse of South Carolina’s “hydrogen economy of the future” might put a damper on these bureaucrats’ Albert Speer-esque building plans, but apparently not.

After all, it’s your money … and unlike the promised private sector investment these pyramid scammers have failed to obtain, your money is apparently (borrowing a lyric from Morrissey) “a light that never goes out.”

Anyway, here’s SCRA “CEO” Bill Mahoney’s email to his fellow “higher educrats” on the project …

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to inform you that today SCRA closed on the 78,000 sq ft property on Catawba Street in Columbia which will be upgraded into our SCRA-USC-Columbia Innovation Center. Renderings of the facility as it will look upon completion are attached.

We have received excellent support from Nelson Mullins, Wachovia Bank and Mashburn Construction in order to reach this stage. Work will begin on the renovations immediately, with completion targeted for late calendar Q2 2010.

With this step and the start of the Clemson Innovation Center this week, SCRA now has projects for all three mandated Innovation Centers underway simultaneously. This parallel activity will undoubtedly provide incremental challenges for our Asset Management, Accounting and Finance, and SC Launch teams. Nonetheless, given the progress to date at the SCRA – MUSC- Charleston Innovation Center on Meeting Street, I am confident our people will deliver outstanding results.

Congratulations are in order for John Gregg, Marvin Davis, Mark Aukamp, and Julia Martin for yeoman effort to achieve this milestone.

Please call if you have further questions, and thank you for your ongoing support.

Best regards,


Bill Mahoney
South Carolina Research Authority
1330 Lady Street | Suite 503 | Columbia, SC 29201
P. O. Box 12025 | Columbia, SC 29211
Columbia 803.733.9080 | Charleston 843.760.5889

Nice, huh?

And look, pretty pictures …

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