UofSC, Benedict College classes begin this week, Mayor Rickenmann reacts

COLUMBIA SC (WOLO)–With classes beginning this week for schools like the University of South Carolina and Benedict College, students have returned to Columbia’s downtown.

Mayor Daniel Rickenmann is excited for their return, and for what their return means for Columbia.

” I will tell you, there isn’t a retailer or restauranteur who isn’t excited that the students are back. If you think about it we have over 60,000 students here who are going to be spending money. I mean its groceries, its retail, its restaurant, its supplies, its rent. It really is the backbone of our community and so we’re really excited they’re all back in full swing and getting to somewhat of a normal world here post Covid,” says Mayor Rickenmann.

Even though it’s week one for incoming freshman, Mayor Rickenmann is looking to their future and hoping they stay in Columbia after graduating.

“We’re meeting actually this week. We have our first Mayor Collegiate Council meeting of this year. So we have representatives from all the schools and universities here representing and talking to us about what’s important to them, how they can be involved, what they see with the future, why people are moving to other cities, and what we can do better.”

Mayor Rickenmann says his goal is to build up downtown Columbia to give students the best possible experience.

“If you look at our sister cities in the state, we’re about 4,000 people living downtown, and they’re at 9,000 and 10,000 so our goal is to really build up downtown so it becomes a more walkable, livable community,” says Mayor Rickenmann.

Categories: Local News, Richland