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Campus Facilities

Campus Facilities

Francis Marion University is located on a 400-acre tract of land at least a portion of which was originally included in an English royal land grant. The initial 100 acres were a gift from the Walter G. and J.W. Wallace families. The University is situated adjacent to U.S. Highways 301/76, seven miles east of Florence, South Carolina. Campus facilities include:





Wallace House (President's Home) – Rebuilt in 1924 after the original 1836 J. Eli Gregg home was destroyed by fire, this antebellum-style house was the home of Joseph Wilds Wallace Sr. and Sallie Gregg Wallace. In 1960, in their memory, the Wallace family donated the house for the founding site of the University of South Carolina at Florence. Then named Wallace Hall, the structure housed classrooms and meeting space for the Florence campus. When Francis Marion College was established in 1970, the house served as a facility for administrative offices. It was renovated as a permanent residence for the president of Francis Marion University in 1983 and was renamed Wallace House in 1994.


J. Howard Stokes Administration Building – Named in honor of one of the prime movers in establishing higher education for the Pee Dee area, this was the first building to be built on the Florence Regional Campus of the University of South Carolina. It was built with funds contributed by citizens from across the Pee Dee area and transferred to the University in 1970 and an addition was completed in 1990. It was last renovated in 1992-1995. The building houses administrative offices including the offices of Accounting/Cashier, Administrative Computing Services, Administration, Admissions, Alumni Affairs, Business Affairs, Communications Services, Community Relations, Development and FMU Foundation, Enrollment Management, Financial Assistance, Financial Services, Human Resources, Institutional Research, President, Provost, Purchasing, Registrar, Telecommunications, Payroll and Inventory, and the University Auditor.


Office Services Building – The Office Services Building, located on the east side of Stokes Administration Building, was constructed in the early 1960s. Formerly known as the "Grey Pods," the facility served as the canteen/student center for the University of South Carolina at Florence. The building was acquired by Francis Marion University in 1970 and was converted to Office Services soon afterward. The publications, printing, and mail services operations are housed in this facility.


Physical Plant/Public Safety Building – Occupied in 1972, this building provides certain utility services to other buildings and houses the campus police and certain offices of the Physical Plant Department. Campus Police provides around-the-clock law enforcement services from this location.


CSSmith_Center_front_mdWalter Douglas Smith University Center – Named in honor of the first president of Francis Marion University, this facility was occupied in 1974. Designed to house under one roof all phases of the student life program, the complex provides comprehensive facilities for student activities and services including the offices of Student Affairs, Athletics, Campus Recreation Services, Career Development, International Student Affairs, and Multicultural Student Affairs. It also provides space for recreation and athletic programs, the University Center Café, and the Patriot Bookstore.



The Edward S. Ervin III Dining Hall – Named in honor of a former chairman of the Board of Trustees of Francis Marion University, this facility was occupied in 1986. It serves students, faculty, and staff of the University as well as community groups.


John K. Cauthen Educational Media Center – Named in honor of the late pioneer of educational television in South Carolina, this building was occupied in 1977. Designed to provide comprehensive facilities for the production and presentation of audiovisual materials, the building also provides classroom and office space for the education, mass communication, modern languages, and psychology programs. The Dooley planetarium, the Ashpy Lowrimore Auditorium, two distance learning classrooms, and the J.R. Bryan Jackson Innovation Place (a 20-computer lab equipped with state-of-the-art teaching and multimedia instructional technology) are also in the building.


Founders Hall – Named in honor of those whose efforts and energies led to the founding of the University, this building was occupied during 1974. The building houses offices and classrooms for many of the University's academic programs including English, political science, history, geography, philosophy and religious studies, and sociology. The School of Business complex is located on the second floor.



The Peter D. Hyman Fine Arts Center – Named in honor of a community leader who was instrumental in the founding of the institution and who was the first chairman of the Francis Marion University Board of Trustees, this facility was occupied in November 1980. It houses the John W. Baker Art and Music Wing and includes faculty offices for the Department of Fine Arts, classrooms, and studios for teaching art and music. The south wing includes the Adele Kassab Recital Hall and the University Theatre, which has a working stage and the capability for quick changes from a proscenium to a thrust stage. The Hyman Fine Arts Center houses public art galleries to display two- and three-dimensional art.


Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Science Facility – Named in honor of Senator Hugh K. Leatherman Sr., for many years a state senator from Florence County and member emeritus of the University's Board of Trustees, this facility was completed in 1994 and provides office, classroom and laboratory space for biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. A greenhouse is located on the rooftop.



Robert E. McNair Science Building – Named in honor of the former Governor of South Carolina who played a significant role in making the University possible, this structure was occupied during 1972. This building provides classroom, laboratory, and office space for biology, chemistry, physics, and nursing.




Frank B. Lee Nursing Building – Named in honor of the chairman of the board of trustees of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, the local philanthropic foundation which largely funded the building's construction, this facility opened for the fall 2006 semester. This two-story facility is located on the north side of the campus pond and houses offices, classrooms, the Elizabeth W. Barnes Clinical Laboratory, a computer lab, three seminar/conference rooms, and the Dr. John M. Thomason Auditorium for the Department of Nursing program.


The Observatory – Built in 1982, this is a two-story, precast concrete structure with a 12-foot rotating dome. Permanently mounted in the dome is a 14-inch reflecting telescope. Located on the second-floor porch are six mounts for 8-inch reflecting telescopes. The first floor houses a small classroom-orientation area. Free public viewing sessions are held periodically to examine the planets, stars, and special astronomical events such as comets and eclipses.


James A. Rogers Library – Named in honor of the first chairman of the State College Board of Trustees, the library opened on December 13, 1971. The structure houses a library collection of more than 385,000 volumes and provides access to a variety of electronic databases including the Internet and DISCUS (Digital Information for South Carolina Users). The library building was expanded in 1988 by adding a wing named in honor of the first director of the library, J. Mitchell Reames.



Thomas C. Stanton Academic Computer Center – Named in honor of the second president of Francis Marion University, this facility was occupied in 1988. The building provides computer classrooms and a 60-station general-use computer laboratory.



Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center - Slated for completion in late 2010, this facility is located in downtown Florence. Its main elements include an approximately 900 seat main auditorium with a fly tower and orchestra shell, a 100 seat flexible black box space, and an academic wing with classrooms, offices, and rehearsal spaces for the Department of Fine Arts Music Industry degree. The surrounding grounds include the 500 seat BB&T Amphitheatre and the Beverly Hazelwood and Starr Ward Garden Courtyard. Primary residents are the Department of Fine Arts, The Florence Symphony Orchestra, and the MasterWorks Choir. A presenting series of theatre, music, and dance events complements the events produced by the primary residents, and spaces are also available for rental.


The Grille – Opened in fall 2006, this one-story building is located adjacent to the outdoor swimming pool. The facility provides an additional dining option with indoor and outdoor seating available and convenient access to the outdoor pool and sand volleyball court.


Hanson Park – Hanson Park was established in 2005. Named in memory of longtime psychology faculty member and administrator Gary Hanson, this park is located between The Cottage and the President's House and provides a quiet, garden-like atmosphere for faculty, staff, students, and visitors.


The Village – The first student housing on campus was occupied in the fall of 1980. It consists of 14 two-story apartment buildings and vending facilities. The apartment buildings (Anderson, Baxter, Cade, Dalton, Ervin, Ferguson, Gallingten, Henderson, Ingram, Johnston, Kidwell, Logan, Moultrie, and Newton) consist of 16 apartments designed to accommodate two persons, each sharing bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bath, or eight apartments designed to accommodate four persons each in individual bedrooms with a common living room, kitchen, and bath. Some apartments of each type include provisions for persons with disabilities. The Village currently accommodates 418 residents. Additional information regarding the Village apartments can be found at FMU Housing.


Residence Halls – The University has two sets of residence halls. Each set consists of three residence halls linked to each other by exterior breezeways. Built in 1986, one set (Marion State, Palmetto, and Swamp Fox) forms a courtyard with the Edward S. Ervin III Dining Hall. The other (Belle Isle, Snow Island, and Ellen C. Watson), built in 1992, forms a courtyard with the Allard A. Allston Housing Office Complex, which was built at the same time. Residence halls provide for 700 residents. A Resident Assistant is assigned to each residence hall floor to provide support for students. Additional information regarding the residence halls can be found at FMU Housing.


Allard A. Allston Housing Office Complex – The Allard A. Allston  Housing Office Complex, built in 1992 along with one of the two sets of residence halls, was named after a longtime Board of Trustees member. The complex includes the offices of Housing and Residence Life as well as a Study Hall and the Tutoring Center.


BB&T/Amelia Wallace Faculty/Alumni Cottage – The Cottage, completed in 2003, is operated by the FMU Foundation as a faculty/alumni facility and guest house for the benefit of Francis Marion University. The 4,000-square foot facility is named in honor of BB&T, a major benefactor, and Amelia Wallace, whose family donated Wallace House and the first 100 acres of the land on which the university is located. Lunch is served daily (unless otherwise announced) for faculty, staff and guests.\



Forest Villas Apartment ComplexFrancis Marion University's newest addition to student housing includes three, three-story apartment buildings and a community center located on the southeast side of the campus adjacent to Belle Isle, Snow Island and Ellen C. Watson Residence Halls. The three buildings, completed and occupied in Fall 2004, consist of 57 four-bedroom apartment units, three two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom units, capable of housing 237 residents. Each apartment includes single bedrooms and private baths with shared living, dining and kitchen facilities. The community center building consists of a large common lounge for social functions and meetings, a smaller meeting/study area, a fitness room, an enclosed mail pick-up area, a laundry facility and outdoor sand volleyball court and grilling areas. Additional information regarding the apartments can be found at FMU Housing.


Clifford S. Cormell Field – Named in honor of one whose leadership was a contributing factor to the establishment of the University, this field is a lighted baseball complex with a natural grass field.


John Kassab Courts – Named in honor of one whose leadership was a contributing factor to the establishment of the University, this facility consists of eight tennis courts surfaced with plexipave, four of which are lighted. The courts underwent major upgrades to the court surfaces, fencing and landscaping in 2003.


Other exterior athletic-recreational facilities include a reslite eight-lane track, a regulation soccer field, a regulation softball field, two natural grass intramural fields, an outdoor recreational field near the housing area, and an outdoor recreational pool.

Last Published: May 21, 2013 3:57 PM
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