The Continuum -- progress

The Continuum is under construction in Lake City. It is expected to open in August.

LAKE CITY, S.C. – The Continuum is expected to open in August in Lake City with a focus on “advancing the knowledge and mastery of innovative and technical skills.”

The 46,000-square-foot facility is under construction in downtown Lake City.

“If you’ve been to Lake City, you can’t miss it,” director Jeanette Altman said. “It’s right in the center of town, right behind the post office. And it is an innovation and technical education center.”

Altman said the vision is that The Continuum will be a regional center for education and training in innovative and technical skills and workforce development. It is a collaboration between Francis Marion University, Florence-Darlington Technical College and the Darla Moore Foundation.

There are approximately eight classrooms in the facility, Altman said, and each has teacher workstations, projection capability, whiteboards, tables and student chairs. Other designated spaces include computer labs, distance-learning classrooms, biology and chemistry labs with prep rooms, workforce development space, health science and CNA spaces, a lecture hall and business incubator.

Francis Marion University will offer dual enrollment opportunities at The Continuum and traditional courses for traditional college students, according to Anna Todd, the Francis Marion University director in Lake City.

“It’s set up so (traditional) students can take classes in Lake City maybe two or three days a week and then those commuters can go to Florence those other days to our main campus and take their other courses,” Todd said.

Francis Marion University also will offer some continuing education options “both on the credit and enhancement side,” Todd said. The business incubator will have space for five clients.

“So, our first year, we’ll be offering just traditional general education classes for dual enrollment,” Todd said. “All of the courses we’ll offer for our dual-enrollment students are transferrable to two- and four-year public institutions in the state.”

Classes to be offered from Francis Marion University during the first year of The Continuum include English 101 and 102, an introductory psychology and political science course and a few options for history and business. Todd said more classes will be added each year.

Initial workforce development courses will include training in HVAC, welding, health sciences, mechatronics and advanced manufacturing technology, according to a media advisory from The Continuum.

Students from Pee Dee-area public school districts and private schools are expected to enroll for classes that will begin in August.

A four-member board will govern The Continuum. The board includes Moore, who will serve as the chairwoman; Darla More Foundation CEO and President Marion Fowler; FMU President Fred Carter; and Florence-Darlington Technical College interim president Ed Bethea.

Contact Altman at 843-374-4477 or for more information.

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