It has long been considered a hidden jewel tucked within the crown of the Emerald City, but ongoing discussions center on an opportunity to open a path to its doors, not too different from the yellow brick road that led Dorothy and friends to Oz.
The campus of Greenwood Genetic Center is off the beaten path, even for some longtime residents of Greenwood. In some ways, finding GGC is nearly as difficult for newcomers as finding Lander University was until President Dan Ball created a grand entrance, which was then further improved upon by alumni who donated money to install the entrance's two fountains.
GGC is home to groundbreaking research in the field of genetics. It is here the discovery was made that folic acid can drastically reduce the infant mortality rate. Soon, more research and development will take place on the campus with the addition of the Clemson research facility born out of a partnership between the university and genetic center.
Granted, there might be more reasons for the average resident to more easily locate and access Lander's campus than GGC, but that's really beside the point. GGC has and will have a host of visitors, from researchers to those requiring its services. That is why the City of Greenwood is exploring a way to better connect the Uptown area to the GGC campus. To do so will require a complete overhaul of some of the roadways, most especially Carolina Avenue, to provide a quick and ready corridor to the campus.
A master plan is needed for the project and carries an estimated price tag of $45,000 from local engineering firm Davis & Floyd. The city is seeking a partner to share in those costs. Eyes are cast toward Partnership Alliance, Greenwood County's economic development arm.
This will be money well spent. Actually, invested is the better word choice here. Why? This is yet another step in a long-term project that will serve to connect key areas of Greenwood: Uptown, Lander and a premier think industry, Greenwood Genetic Center.
Look around. Greenwood is not what it once was, but that is not a bad thing. Lander University became a greater part of the overall community, Uptown is thriving as it evolves once again into the central destination station with its combination of business, professional and entertainment venues that includes the county library, and the Greenwood Genetic Center is certainly a source of pride.
Greenwood is growing great and has some wonderful jewels that should shine for all to see and not remain tucked away and hidden.