Personal comment - I hope the University will be more forthcoming than the current group as to Hunley information, measurements and photos! Tim
Clemson University will pay for Hunley Restoration
NORTH CHARLESTON - Clemson University would pay to restore the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley and develop a 65-acre research campus employing thousands under a plan developed by Upstate college, the Hunley Commission and North Charleston.
The commission on Wednesday approved the first step, agreeing to turn over the Hunley conservation lab to Clemson in exchange for the school paying for the sub's restoration.
"We have the opportunity now not only to complete the conservation of the Hunley, but to help the academic future of South Carolina with a cutting-edge metallurgy and textiles restoration center," said state Sen. Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston and chairman of the commission. "This helps get us to the finish line."
The commission has been paying for the submarine restoration with private donations and federal funds.
Clemson's involvement means Friends of the Hunley and the commission will have more time and money to devote to building the museum.
If all goes according to plan, the restored sub, the first in
history to sink an enemy warship, could be on display in four years, McConnell said.
Clemson scientists have been working with Hunley conservators on developing the best way to restore the sub.
If the deal is completed, Clemson would take over the lab with 90 full-time workers and a $5-million payroll. The scientists would remain in their current jobs.
Around the lab, Clemson hopes to develop a 65-acre research campus creating 5,000 jobs with a payroll of almost $287 million.
"We think South Carolina is well positioned to have a world-class materials conservation laboratory," said Jan Schach, dean of Clemson's College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities and director of the university's restoration institute.
Mayor Keith Summey said there are questions about how much base land would be set aside.
"I just want to make sure the city is protected, to make sure it actually happens," he said. "In principle, it's a great thing. I
like the kind of industry that would come with it."
The Hunley rammed a spar with a black-powder charge into the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston on Feb. 17, 1864.
The Hunley sank as well and was located off Sullivans Island in 1995. It was located by a search team sponsored by Clive Cussler and raised five years later.