FLORENCE, S.C. – Trinity Collegiate School on Hoffmeyer Road is embarking on an approximately $4.4 million expansion project that includes a dormitory for international students in phase 1 and eventually an academic building and auxiliary gymnasium on the 100-acre campus for grades 6 through 12.
Eight percent of the school's student body is currently made up of international students from seven countries.
Head of School Ed Hoffman informed the Florence Rotary Club of plans to expand at the club’s weekly meeting Monday at Victors.
“The school board has approved the building of an on-campus international dorm which will keep TCS competitive in the international student market, better integrate our international students into the fabric of our school, increase their ‘after-school’ activities participation and provide better cultural exchange opportunities for all of our students,” Hoffman said.
The international dormitory will be 8,560 square feet. The single-story student housing facility will have a central commons area and a kitchen. It will feature two wings off of the commons with eight student dorm rooms in each wings. There will be two students per room, with girls on one side and boys on the other.
The dormitory project is projected to cost $1,496,650. The project will also include a 22,000-square-foot academic building and auxiliary gymnasium.
“Through continued expansion of our International Program, we will bring increased international awareness to the Pee Dee Region while expanding the region’s global reputation and footprint,” Hoffman said.
Of the 353 students enrolled this year, 21 are international students, representing China, Korea, Vietnam, France, Lithuania, Turkey, Ireland and France. In the past, students have enrolled from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Sweden.
Hoffman said there be an economic impact from the new construction, and there is a local economic spinoff from the students being here. He said for every $1 purchase by an international student, there is another 55 cents spinoff output/sales, according to a Canadian study. The study also said that for every $1 purchase by an international student, about 96 cents stays in the local economy.
Hoffmann said approximately 94 percent of TCS international student graduates now attend college in the United States, but most will eventually return home.
The presentation included written statements by several international students.
“It is a great school because teachers are helpful and students are so friendly,” said Tom Nguyen of Vietnam and a member of the 2021 class. “My favorite thing about TCS is learning from the teachers. When I graduate, I want to major in Computer Science in college.”
Ceyda Yucel of Turkey, a member of the Class of 2021, said, “I am very thankful to be at TCS this year. When I told my parents that I wanted to go to South Carolina, they were very supportive. I hope to go to college in the United States when I graduate.”
Hoffman said Trinity is a great choice for international students. He said we have great weather, a safe place to be and good academic programs at the school that are important to the students and their parents. He said they offer a wide selection of AP classes.
They offer 21 AP and Pre AP courses and 38 Honor Courses.
Twenty-five percent of the school's students receive some type of financial assistance. The students have a 100 percent acceptance rate to four-year colleges and universities. The average class size is 15 to 16 students.
Hoffman said the school is outside of Florence and has lots of room for expansion. He said the biggest stress right now facing students and faculty is the coronavirus. He said four international students were not able to get back to the United States and are taking classes virtually.
The school was founded in 1995. It is located at 5001 Hoffmeyer Road in Darlington.
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