White Oak Conference Center in Winnsboro was scheduled to be sold to Midlands Charter Institute last year for $5.4 million. However, the charter school failed to qualify for a loan and has moved off the campus. The property is on the market again.
Scott Lee, chief administrative officer for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, stated that the convention is once again seeking a buyer for the conference center — this time, including the 640 undeveloped acres that are part of the property. Initially, the convention plans to market the property privately.
“We are still scheduling 2020 summer camps, still open for business, and continue to accept future bookings. In the event the property goes under contract, we will address those future bookings as, or if, required,” Lee said.
The SCBC Executive Board voted in April 2016 to sell White Oak, citing underuse of the facility by SCBC churches, the cost of subsidizing the facility’s annual operations ($600,000 yearly), and deferred maintenance costs of up to $4 million at the time.
The small charter school invested approximately $300,000 in physical improvements and began offering classes in August 2018 after receiving a 90-day transitional lease from the SCBC.
The conference center area of the property includes 140 motel-style rooms, a 400-seat dining hall, 23 classrooms, and auditorium/gymnasium with a capacity of 850, a 230-seat lecture hall, a lake, swimming pool, and other recreational facilities.