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Allen University Waverly


Columbia, SC



Higher Education

Historic Renovation





Under Construction

Allen University Waverly Hospital Renovation & Expansion  

GMK Associates is currently supporting Allen University with its multi-phase efforts to renovate and expand the historic Good Samaritan - Waverly Hospital Building located on the University’s Columbia campus. The renovation will include 19,200 square feet of the empty three-story historic hospital building and the addition of 1,905 square feet of new auditorium, academic, and office space.


Waverly Hospital was originally built to serve the African-American residents of the historic Waverly community during the Jim Crow era in Columbia, SC. It was the only training facility exclusively for black nurses in Columbia. It has held a very prominent position in Columbia’s history from the time it opened in 1952 to the time it closed in 1973. For this very reason an integrated design approach is being implemented for its renovation that includes stakeholder input from the Columbia historic review board, members of the historic Waverly community, the president of Allen University, faculty members and staff, end-users, and the design/construction team.


The purpose of the renovation of this prominent landmark within the Waverly Community is to re-establish the building as an economic driver and source of community pride, while simultaneously continuing the academic mission of the University. One key element is the collaborative effort among Allen University, the University of South Carolina, and Columbia College to establish an “Institute for Civility” as thought leadership in a nationwide focus on civil discourse. The building will also house a specific memorial and tribute through the “Emmanuel Nine Center for Peace.” Additional Exhibits will Include the “Palmetto African-American Hall of Fame” and the “Waverly Wall” featuring doctors and nurses who worked or trained in the hospital.


To accommodate phased funding, the initial work on the project entailed the design of a roof demolition and replacement package. The scope of work for this initial design includes the removal of the existing built-up roof system and underlayment, as well as abatement of hazardous materials, in preparation for roof reconstruction and other renovations. The additional work is being carefully phased as University, federal, and other public/private funding sources become available. In November of 2020, The Boeing Company established a partnership with Allen University for the completion of the project and pledged $1.5M to support renovation tasks.

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