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American College of Building Arts Opens in South Carolina

American College of Building Arts Opens in South Carolina

Ronald Roach

Last month, the American College of Building Arts opened in Charleston, S.C., becoming what its organizers believe to be the only higher education institution of its kind in the United States.

The school will teach traditional building techniques that have almost vanished in America. The college will train students in masonry, finish carpentry, plasterwork, timber framing and stone carving.

Students in the inaugural class will pay $18,372 this year for tuition, a figure which is expected to rise by $1,500 in the 2006-2007 academic year. Founders say the school has become the nation’s only licensed college to offer a baccalaureate degree in the building arts.

“We are doing something that no one in America has ever done,” college president David AvRutick told The State newspaper.

After successful completion of basic studies, which include liberal arts general education requirements like English and math, students will receive either an associate or a bachelor’s degree in applied sciences. Students will major in one of the six traditional building trades: architectural metal, architectural stone, carpentry, masonry, plaster working or timber framing.

“We are extremely proud to have the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston and to welcome their first incoming class of students. As one of the great centers for preservation in America, Charleston is the perfect home for the college and will serve as a wonderful textbook for the students. We are thrilled to be home to the first college of its kind in America,” says Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley Jr. 

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