Coker College dedicates new $12 million gymnasium

Governor Nikki Haley presenting Harris DeLoach with the Order of the Palmetto award.

Coker College held a dedication ceremony Friday for its new $12 million, state of the art, Harris E. and Louise H. DeLoach Center and Gymnasium.

The 71,000 square foot facility opened earlier this fall and is the largest campus expansion in institutional history.

The multi-purpose facility includes a main gymnasium that seats 1,908 in stadium-style retractable bleachers and an auxiliary gymnasium.

Level one of the facility also includes a strength and conditioning room, a Cafe and dining area, athletic training and rehabilitation/therapy rooms, sport-by-sport locker rooms, state-of-the-art classrooms and more. Level two features, among other things, a large Cobra Club, athletic offices and a walking track.

Harris E. DeLoach Jr. served as chairman and chief executive officer at Sonoco before he retired in 2013. He is Executive Chairman of Sonoco's Board of Directors and a Trustee of the Duke Endowment. He also serves on the boards of Duke Energy and Milliken & Company and, locally, on the boards of the Byerly Foundation and the TEACH Foundation.

DeLoach believes the center will prove beneficial in further uniting the Hartsville community.

"This facility, I think is important, obviously important to Coker College. And I think it's even more important to the community. Because I do believe that this could be a gathering place where everybody can come and watch athletes, student athletes play together and be together. And make this whole community a much better place to live than it already is," said Harris DeLoach.

Governor Nikki Haley presented Deloach with the Order of the Palmetto, an award given to those who make contributions of a statewide significance.