Board approves $13M in bonds for USC's Innovista

Innovista began in 2005. The project is a collaboration between the City of Columbia and USC.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The University of South Carolina has received authorization to borrow $13 million to outfit more research space at its high-tech hub that Gov. Nikki Haley has referred to as a big mess.

The Budget and Control Board voted unanimously Wednesday to approve phase two of USC's Innovista project. State government's financial oversight board is chaired by the governor.

The bonds will pay half the cost of preparing 47,000 square feet worth of offices and laboratories for research in nuclear science, hydrogen, fuel cells and the aerospace industry. The project involves finishing vacant floors of a building in downtown Columbia.

The matching money will be supplied by IBM and the Air Force.

USC consultant Rick Kelly says Innovista did not work as planned in 2005 but has generated research and jobs.

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