From staff reports
A crowd of several hundred people from the community turned out Thursday, Nov. 18, for a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration held for the Culinary Institute of the South in Bluffton.
The opening of the institute effectively makes the new school TCL’s fourth campus in its network of Lowcountry-based campuses and marked the culmination of several years of planning for the large-scale project.
“There was a concept, then there was a vision and then there was a lot of hard work,” TCL Area Commission Chair Randy Dolyniuk said in a release.
Dolyniuk, who also chairs TCL’s Foundation Board of Directors, pointed to the many local and state entities that played a role in helping to bring the project to fruition as well.
The $15.3 million project was funded with $11.2 million from Beaufort County, Beaufort County School District and the Town of Bluffton; $3.5 million from the state of South Carolina and $625,000 raised from private sources and donors.
The school and its programs received widespread praise by those who attended the event – many enjoyed getting their first look inside the more-than- 30,000-square-foot facility and sampling small bites provided by sponsors and industry partners.
Those included Montage Palmetto Bluff, Sea Pines Resort, SERG Restaurant Group, U.S. Foods, Corner Perk, Omni Hilton Head Ocean Front Resort, The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head, Southern Barrel Brewing Company and Bluffton Tea Company.
Richard Gough, president of the Technical College of the Lowcountry also pointed to the importance of the community’s role in helping to launch the project.
“This is your community college,” he said during the event’s opening remarks. “And every one of you has helped in making this happen, and it’s going to make a difference in the lives for generations to come.”
Other speakers at the event included: Tim Hardee, President of the South Carolina Technical College System; Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort; and Chef Miles Huff, Dean of the Culinary Institute of the South.
Onsite classes start in January and include associate degrees and certificates in culinary arts, baking and pastry and hospitality. Enroll now at www.tcl.edu/culinary.