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Denmark Tech (copy)

Denmark Technical College

DENMARK – Senators want to study a plan to change Denmark Technical College into an area trade school before they make a decision.

“As of this point, it’s up in the air. There’s no permanent solution to the problem yet,” Sen John Matthews, D-Bowman, said Friday.

The S.C. House’s draft of the state budget contains a proviso that would close Denmark Technical College temporarily and reopen it as an area trade school. The state Senate is still developing its version of the budget.

Matthews said the Senate Finance Committee removed the proviso from its version of the budget. The senators want to look at issues like the college’s total debt and if the problems can be solved.

It’s too early to say what the Senate will do, Matthews said. “Once we get hard figures, I think the Senate will make a decision.”

Denmark Tech’s area commission met Friday to prepare for the college’s review next week by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

In the special called meeting on Friday, commission members prepped for the visit by answering mock questions similar to questions they will be asked by the four-person review committee.

“The purpose for the visit is the change in governance of the college, they’ll be focusing in on that, and financials for the college. Those are their two focuses,” Business, Computers and Related Technologies Dean Tia Wright-Richards said. She's also serving as SACSCOC liaison.

She asked the board members mock questions and advised them to refrain from letting one member answer the majority of the questions.

The SACS-COC committee review will take place at 3:30 p.m. April 9.

Board members also discussed the rally held in Columbia on the Statehouse steps in support of the college, thanking those who attended.

“It was well received. Lots of well-spoken people. We had an opportunity to talk to several of the representatives,” and there seems to be at least a good amount of support for the college and it staying open, board Chairman Kevin Whitt said.

“I’d like to commend everyone, the participants who were there, as well as the ones that did the speaking. Everyone, I thought, to include the students, did a very good job,” board member the Rev. Dr. Herman Wallace said.

Interim President Dr. Christopher Hall also had a message of thanks for those who attended.

“Thank you all for those who were there, and thank you all for those who couldn’t make it but kept the program in your prayers, and thoughts, and calls, and all the things they did to support that,” Hall said.

  • This story has been changed from its original version.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516.

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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