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Darla Moore funding education center in her hometown

March 8, 2019

LAKE CITY, S.C. (AP) — Investor and philanthropist Darla Moore is creating an education center in her South Carolina hometown.

News outlets reported that Moore is setting up a $25 million center known as The Continuum in Lake City, a city of about 7,000 people about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Columbia

The center is “a vision for what the future of education could, and probably should, look like,” Moore said.

Classes start in August.

The Darla Moore Foundation is working with Francis Marion University in Florence and Florence-Darlington Technical College to create the center.

Courses that lead to two- and four-year degrees will be offered. Those dual enrollment courses for high school students are to be joined by an effort leading to a workforce development certificate program and other science and innovation programs for students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Moore said in a news release that South Carolina needs to create “an educational system that more effectively meets the needs of the businesses and industries of this state, and the citizens who make them go.”

She said that employers such as Volvo in Ridgeville and Boeing in North Charleston have told her they need a better-trained and educated workforce.

The Continuum will have seven high-tech classrooms, three computer labs, three distance learning classrooms, large rooms for biology and chemistry labs, four workforce development classrooms/labs, a health science space and a large lecture hall that can be converted to an event space.

Moore is a former president and partner of the investment firm Rainwater Inc.

Francis Marion University President Fred Carter said what Moore is bringing together is extraordinary in its breadth and vision.

Florence-Darlington Technical College Interim President Ed Bethea said The Continuum will provide educational opportunities that have never been available in the Lake City area.

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