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Columbia: Recreation

Columbia: Recreation

Sightseeing

Columbia has an interesting array of historical, cultural, and recreational sites to delight both visitors and residents. Consistently rated as one of the top travel attractions in the Southeast, the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden is home to more than 2,000 mammals, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates. Animals roam freely in the zoo's unique recreated environment. Visitors can watch the daily feeding of penguins and sea lions. Across the Saluda River from the zoo, the Riverbanks Botanical Garden features 70 acres of woodlands, gardens, historic ruins, and plant collections. Gibbes Planetarium, located within the Columbia Museum of Art on the campus of the University of South Carolina, provides spectacular views of the skies through its permanent and changing programs.

Columbia's newest family attraction is the EdVenture Children's Museum. Opened to the public in November 2003, the $19.4 million facility is located next to the South Carolina State Museum and features 74,000 square feet of hands-on exhibit space in 8 indoor and outdoor galleries, as well as laboratories and other visitor amenities. Special exhibit areas are designed to appeal to very young children.

The Historic Columbia Foundation conducts bus and walking tours of the city and heritage education programs (such as the Black Heritage Trail). An especially popular sight is Governor's Green, a nine-acre complex made up of the 1830 Caldwell-Boylston House, the 1854 Lace House, and Governor's Mansion, home to the state's first family since 1868. Other historic houses are the Hampton-Preston Mansion, an elegant, restored antebellum society home, and the fully restored and furnished boyhood home of Woodrow Wilson. The State Archives has contemporary exhibits and houses the state and county official records. The South Carolina Criminal Justice Hall of Fame traces the history of law enforcement, including the gun collection of Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who captured John Dillinger. The Robert Mills Historic House and Park, designed by the state's most famous architect, has been refurbished with period pieces and has park gardens covering an entire block.

Arts and Culture

Columbia boasts an active arts environment. The showcase of Columbia's cultural sites is the Koger Center for the Performing Arts, an acoustically excellent facility with three-tier seating for 2,300 patrons. The center is home to the South Carolina Philharmonic, which presents Saturday Symphonies, Friday Classics, and Philharmonic Pops. The Bolshoi Ballet, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, and many others perform at the Township Auditorium.

Theater in its many forms is available from the city's 10 professional theater groups. The Longstreet Theatre, an 1855 Greek Revival structure, is the site for many University of South Carolina-sponsored productions at its theater-in-the-round. Trustus Theatre presents quality alternative productions with a different show each month. The Town Theatre, the oldest continuously operating community theater in the nation, stages Broadway comedies and musicals. The Workshop Theatre offers modern and classical productions by its amateur group. The Chapin Community Theatre performs plays for children as well as musicals and dramatic productions. The South Carolina Shakespeare Company performs for a week in October at Finlay Park. Columbia Marionette Theatre is one of only 20 such theaters in the country.

The Columbia Museum of Art, the city's premier museum, maintains more than 5,000 objects, including pieces from the Baroque and Renaissance periods. The museum also offers a hands-on children's gallery and traveling exhibits, as well as European and American works of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, decorative arts, and contemporary crafts. The South Carolina State Museum, located in a renovated textile mill, contains a comprehensive array of exhibits on art, natural history, and science and technology. The Mann-Simons Cottage, a fine example of the Columbia Cottage style of architecture, is the site of the Museum of African-American Culture, which contains the history of the lives of an African American family in the antebellum period. The Confederate Relic Room and Museum contains relics from the Colonial period to the Space Age, with special emphasis on Civil War objects.

The original 1801 campus of the University of South Carolina is today known as the Historic Horseshoe. It has been restored and is open for tours. There visitors will find the McKissick Museum, which features changing exhibitions of art, science, and regional history and folk art; as well as the Baruch Silver Collection, the Mineral Library, and Fluorescent Minerals and Gemstones. The history of the American soldier is the focus of the Fort Jackson Museum, which displays photos, weapons, uniforms, and military items from the Revolution onward. Memorial Park is the site of the South Carolina Vietnam Monument, the largest monument of its type outside Washington, D.C.

Festivals and Holidays

The wearin' of the green is a common sight at the parade, children's areas, and arts and music events that highlight Columbia's St. Patrick's Day Celebration in Five Points.

The Earth Day festival in Finlay Park brings together environmental booths and traditional festival favorites. Also held in spring is the Riverfest Celebration featuring a 5K run, music, arts and crafts and food specialties. River activities, rides, and food are the focus of the Cayce Congaree Carnival and A Taste of Columbia in September at the Convention Center. Dance, arts and crafts, music, and a road race combine to celebrate spring's Mayfest. The spectacle of decorated boats, a parade, and fireworks light up the July Fourth celebration at Lake Murray. Peanuts galoreroasted, boiled and raware the stars of August's Pelion Peanut Party. Autumnfest in uptown Columbia in October brings street dances, music, arts and crafts, and catfish races to the grounds of the historic Hampton Mansion and Robert Mills House. Columbia's music festivals include the Three Rivers Music Festival, three days of national and regional musical acts, and Main Street Jazz which attracts world-renown jazz musicians. One of the biggest events in Columbia is the ten-day South Carolina State Fair in October, which draws more than one-half million visitors. The fair features agricultural and handicraft displays, rides, and entertainment. Jubilee: Festival of Heritage celebrates African American heritage with crafts, storytelling, music and dance. Vista Lights festival combines walking tours of area homes and musical entertainment with carriage rides through the antique district. The Christmas season is ushered in by December's Christmas Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses and Lights Before Christmas at the Riverbanks Zoo.

Sports for the Spectator

Sporting News' "Best Sports Cities 2002" ranked Columbia 54th among 300 U.S. and Canadian cities for its sports climate. The Columbia Inferno tear up the ice at the Carolina Coliseum. The Inferno are a professional hockey team in the East Coast Hockey League. The University of South Carolina's Fighting Gamecocks play football at the Williams-Brice Stadium. The university's basketball team plays at the Frank McGuire Arena in the Carolina Coliseum, and its soccer team is on view at "The Graveyard." Male and female intercollegiate sports teams from other local colleges offer sporting opportunities for spectators. Major League baseball, NFL and NBA teams all play within easy driving distance in nearby Charlotte and Atlanta.

Sports for the Participant

Columbia's mild climate encourages outdoor recreation year-round. Water skiers, campers, windsurfers, fishermen, boating enthusiasts, bikers, and runners enjoy the myriad regional and municipal parks in and around Columbia. Lake Murray boasts 540 miles of scenic shoreline perfect for boaters of all types. Dreher Island State Park on its shores offers RV and primitive camping, fishing, boating and swimming. Columbia's Saluda River, a navigable whitewater river with thrilling rides down the rapids, also offers gentler waters for canoeists and rafters. The 1,445-acre Sesquicentennial State Park offers nature trails, camping and picnic sites, swimming, fishing, and miniature golf. The Congaree National Park and Monument, located 20 miles southeast of the city, is a national monument offering nature walks and self-guided canoe trails affording views of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest.

The City of Columbia maintains nearly 50 parks and green spaces. Finlay Park in the downtown area is host to many festivals and celebrations. Granby Park is the gateway to the rivers in Columbia. Memorial Park is a tribute to those South Carolinians who served their country. Soccer enthusiasts enjoy the nine fields located at Owens Park. Winding along the Congaree River is the Riverfront Park and Historic Columbia Canal. Planned around the city's original 1906 waterworks plant, the park features an old pump house and jogging and bicycle paths. City and county parks offer organized baseball, youth and adult basketball, youth football, soccer, softball, volleyball, racquetball, and roller skating, as well as a variety of other activities. City residents enjoy five public and eight semi-private golf courses, plus public tennis courts and swimming pools. Private tennis and golf clubs extend the recreational choices. Several local private golf clubs offer special golf packages to visitors. Rock climbers can master their skills at the Earth Treks Climbing Center, which features two large indoor climbing walls. The new Charles R. Drew Wellness Center offers indoor swimming, jogging, and weight training.

Shopping and Dining

Shopping is a many-dimensional affair in a city that offers spacious malls, fashionable boutiques, specialty stores, antique shops, and antique malls. Richland Mall features Belk's, Parisian, and The Bombay Co. among other stores. The most popular shopping center is Columbiana Centre, with more than 100 specialty shops. Columbia Place is the region's largest, offering more than 100 specialty stores. Old Mill Antique Mall and City Market Antique Mall offer outof-the-ordinary shopping experiences. The Dutch Square Center's major shops include Belk's, Burlington Coat Factory, and Office Depot. The State Farmers Market, open daily across from the USC Football Stadium, is one of the largest produce markets in the southeast.

Dining out in Columbia presents myriad possibilities, from the fresh seafood provided by its proximity to the state's Atlantic Coast, to a variety of ethnic cuisines such as Greek, Chinese, Cajun, or Japanese, as well as traditional Southern. Southern cooking favorites may include tasty barbecue, vegetable casseroles, sweet potato pie, biscuits and gravy, red beans and rice, country fried steak, pecan pie, and the ever popular fried chicken. From simple lunchtime fare to haute cuisine, the area boasts quality restaurant fare. Five Points and the Congaree Vista neighborhoods draw visitors to their nightlife.

Visitor Information: Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 15, Columbia, SC 29202; telephone (803)545-0000; toll-free (800)264-4884

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Columbia: Economy

Columbia: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Columbia prides itself on a diverse and stable economy based on jobs in local and state government, manufacturing, and services and on being the site of the Fort Jackson military base. In recent years, distribution, manufacturing, and research and development have increased that diversity. The city is relying on its technology infrastructure, active entrepreneurial community, major research university, and diverse quality of life to attract and keep new business. Columbia's diverse economic base includes 31 Fortune 500 companies, and the city serves as a service center for the insurance, telecommunications, computer, and real estate industries. Dozens of international companies from Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, Japan, South Korea, Belgium, Luxembourg, Taiwan and Canada have operations in the region.

The University of South Carolina bolsters the economy through the expenditures of its more than 32,000 students as well as 7,900 faculty, staff, and support personnel. Fort Jackson, which is located within the city's boundaries, employs more than 4,400 civilians and spends nearly $716.9 million annually for salaries, utilities, contracts and other services, much of it in Columbia. It hires local firms for construction work and buys its supplies from local businesses.

Ample rainfall and the temperate climate promote the area's success as an agricultural center. The wholesale trade industry, which began its growth in the years prior to World War I, benefits from the fact that approximately 70 percent of the nation's population and 70 percent of its industrial/commercial power are within 24-hour ground access.

Items and goods produced: electronics, military equipment, marine products, chemicals, processed foods

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

The City of Columbia Economic Development Office stands ready to provide a wide range of services to companies interested in the Columbia region; incentives range from new business tax incentives to site planning. The Central Carolina Alliance is a public/private partnership engaged in the recruitment of capital investment and jobs to the Columbia region.

State programs

South Carolina is a "right-to-work" state and has the lowest unionization rate in the country at only 3.7 percent. The State provides a variety of business incentives. South Carolina emphasizes helping companies expand by offering low tax structures. The following incentives and financing sources may be available to qualifying companies: 20 percent state tax credit for development or lease of qualified office facilities; elimination of inventory, intangibles, unitary and value added taxes; job creation tax credits for five years up to $1,500 per employee; the Childcare Program Credit; Sales Tax Exemptions on a variety of production goods; fee-in-lieu of taxes option for investment and job creation; Enterprise Zones incentive; and property tax incentives.

Job training programs

The Columbia Work Initiative Program is a work training program developed by the City of Columbia and the Sumter-Columbia Empowerment Zone. It provides opportunities for empowerment zone residents to develop marketable skills in carpentry and masonry to supply area industry with a pool of trained workers. South Carolina's Special Schools program, a division of the State Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education, assumes the entire training responsibility and designs programs to suit a company's needs. The program may include trainee recruitment and testing, instructor recruitment and training, provision of training sites, development of instructional materials, and complete program management. South Carolina's Center for Accelerated Technology Training (CATT) pre-employment training program provides new and expanding companies with a fully trained and productive work force on the first day of operation. In Columbia, the Midlands Education and Business Alliance is one of the 16 School-to-Work consortiums, which offer pre-employment, internships and worker training programs to ensure that high school graduates are prepared to enter the workforce. South Carolina administers the Job Training Partnership Program.

Development Projects

Attracting area residents to live and work in Columbia is a main objective of the city's Economic Development Office. Its City Center Residential Initiative aims to increase the number of people living in the heart of the city. A 40,000 square foot Confederate Printing Plant has been redeveloped into a Publix grocery store, which opened in 2004 to accommodate the needs of urban residents. This redevelopment is part of an effort to revitalize the Huger Street corridor, which once housed a steel business. Other developments in the corridor include two office buildings and two multi-million dollar residential projects. Six other properties in the corridor have potential for redevelopment.

The Three Rivers Greenway is a multi-year ongoing project which has brought together a partnership of city and county governments and other area institutions to develop a 12-mile linear park system for the 90-mile interconnecting Saluda, Congaree and Broad Rivers. Conceived in 1995, the River Alliance has constructed parks, river walks, an amphitheater, bike lane, running trail, housing communities, and water sport activities along the rivers. In 2005, plans for student housing apartments and an upscale condominium project near the river were underway. Work on the Columbia side of the river is scheduled in phases.

The Charles R. Drew Wellness Center, scheduled for completion in late 2005, is one of the city's newest municipal projects. The 40,000 square foot complex features an indoor swimming pool and gymnasium, cardio/weight room, jogging track, and meeting and activity rooms. The Five Points District, Downtown Columbia's shopping and nightlife destination, is the beneficiary of a $28 million revitalization. Scheduled for completion in mid-2006, the two year project is designed to renovate and rejuvenate not only the streets, sidewalks, streetlights and signage, but to also repair some major underground sewer lines and other utility lines. Columbia's Main Street is also undergoing a renovation with new landscaping, paving, lighting and the installation of a fiber duct bank. Lady Street, Harden Street, and North Main Street are other city roads which have recently benefited from streetscape improvements. Other economic development projects on the city's drawing board include a plan to develop a technology-focused industrial park and plans to attract research projects to the University of South Carolina and the community.

Economic Development Information: Economic Development Division, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, 930 Richland Street, P.O. Box 1360, Columbia, SC 29202-9896; telephone (803)733-1110. City of Columbia Economic Development Office; telephone (803)734-2700; email development@columbiasc.net.

Commercial Shipping

With the benefit of its location where three major interstate highways cross within its regional boundaries and two rail systems operate, Columbus is positively positioned for businesses that require major transportation access. The Columbia Metropolitan Airport handles more than 10,400 tons of cargo annually plus an additional 93 tons of airmail. The airport's Foreign Trade Zone #27 is a 108-acre tract with a 40,000 square foot warehouse and office building and an additional 52,000 square feet of multi-tenant space. The U.S. Customs Services offices, Port of Columbia, are also located in this zone along with several Custom House brokers. Columbia is served by more than 60 motor freight carriers and is the site of United Parcel Service's southeastern regional air cargo hub, ensuring low costs and timely delivery for local industry. Charleston, the second busiest seaport on the east coast, is just 110 miles away.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Columbia boasts a large and growing workforce, especially in the 20-to-40 age group. Many retirees from Fort Jackson choose to stay in the area, adding skill and maturity to the available workforce. Workers are described as efficient and productive, and work stoppages are rare. Forbes magazine ranked Columbia 17th of the best cities for business climate in 2003. South Carolina is a right-to-work state and is one of the country's least unionized states. The Columbia area workforce is also an educated one, ranking 23rd in the nation for doctoral degrees and 32nd for college degrees, according to the Columbia Office of Economic Development.

While Columbia has been successful in creating jobs, it has not achieved the same success in raising its residents' standard of living. Growth in wages in the state from 1994-2004 fell below the national average. Per capita income was 80 percent of the national average. The Columbia region, historically insulated because of State government, the University of South Carolina, and Fort Jackson, lost more than 10,000 jobs between 2002 and 2004. The city's challenge is to create more high-paying jobs, according to Mayor Bob Coble in his 2004 State of the City address. To that end, the city has plans to increasingly focus on attracting technology companies to the area and especially to the University of South Carolina Research Campus.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Columbia metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 303,800

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 17,400

manufacturing: 23,800

trade, transportation and utilities: 55,800

information: 5,600

financial activities: 25,200

professional and business services: 33,800

educational and health services: 32,800

leisure and hospitality: 26,200

other services: 9,300

government: 73,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: not reported

Unemployment rate: 4.9% (December 2004)

Largest private sector employers (Greater Columbia) Number of employees
Palmetto Health 7,500
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of SC 5,100
Richland School District One 5,000
SCE&G 4,000
United Parcel Service 3,528
Wachovia Bank of South Carolina 3,422
Richland School District Two 2,500
Branch Banking and Trust Company 2,093
School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties 2,000
Santee Cooper 1,650

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Columbia area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $246,380

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 96.2 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 2.5% to 7.0%

State sales tax rate: 5.0%

Local income tax rate: none

Local sales tax rate: none

Property tax rate: Millage rates set annually by local government tax authorities and applied to 4.0% of fair market value.

Economic Information: Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, 930 Richland, Columbia, SC 29202; telephone (803)733-1110

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Columbia: Economy

Columbia: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activities

Columbia, whose thriving economy has always been based on the education, health care, and insurance industries, is known as a recession-resistant community. Columbia has 13 banks and saving and loans with assets totaling more than $1.6 billion. The city is consistently named as a top place in the nation to live, retire, and do business, in publications such as Money, Entrepreneur, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and Expansion Management. Forbes listed Columbia as a "Best Small Place to do Business" in May 2004. The city is home to Shelter Insurance Company, MFA Incorporated, and is a regional center for State Farm Insurance.

Columbia's manufacturers make and sell a wide variety of products. 3M is a major employer, producing projection lenses, optical equipment, electronic products, and interconnect systems. MBS is a textbook distribution center. There are three different factories making various automotive parts. Columbia Foods, a division of Oscar Mayer, employs about 700 workers at its food processing plant. Watlow-Columbia, Inc. manufactures electrical heating elements; the Square D Corporation makes circuit breakers; and Hubbell/Chance produces electric utility equipment.

Items and goods produced: all manner of electronic parts and equipment, air filters, optic lenses, plastic pipe, custom foam rubber products, automobile parts, coal, stone quarry products, corn, wheat, and oats

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

The Columbia and Boone County area's main economic development contact is the Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI). REDI is a public/private entity created to promote economic expansion while maintaining a great quality of life. REDI provides services, financing, tax credits and exemptions, job training, and other local perks for businesses such as no local income tax, moderate property taxes and low sales tax that barely effect business, and Community Development Block Grants available outside the city limits for public infrastructure. Financing takes the form of Industrial Revenue Bonds for qualifying projects, and other low interest loans and incentive financing for large development projects. Tax exemptions include no sales taxes on manufacturing equipment nor on materials used to install such equipment, no sales taxes on air or water pollution control devices, and finally a property tax exemption on business and industrial inventories. The State of Missouri reimburses employers for both onsite and classroom job training, designs programs tailor made to specific tasks, and in turn will help screen and test potential new hires.

State programs

The Missouri Small Business Development Center has a branch in Columbia which offers technical and management assistance for small businesses in service, retail, construction, and manufacturing. Other incentive programs are available at the state level. The Missouri Business Expansion and Attraction Group (BEA) is responsible for working with businesses and communities in Missouri to assist in the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the attraction of new businesses. Incentives include business financing and tax credits. Twenty-four programs or services are offered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, including the Welfare-to-Work Grant program and the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit program, which encourages employers to hire certain groups, such as ex-felons, who have a harder time finding jobs. There are programs for youths and adults, for workers affected by downsizing or other types of displacement such as that caused by NAFTA, for women, for seasonal or migrant farm workers, veterans' services, and apprenticeship information.

Job Training

The Missouri Department of Economic Development's Division of Workforce Development offers training or retraining of employees, in a classroom setting, in cooperation with the public schools systems. To be eligible for funding, employers must increase employment above the previous year's level, and must retrain existing employees due to substantial capital investment in the state. Fourteen of the Division of Workforce Development's 24 services offered involve job training or retraining, targeted at various groups.

Development Projects

Growing somewhat naturally out of Columbia's strength in the education and health care industries is the biological sciences research business. There are three organizations in the area that promote expansion into this growing field: the Life Sciences Business Coalition, Mid-MO BIO, and Scientific Partnership and Resource Connection, or SPARC. SPARC works with Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) and University of Missouri's College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources to procure funding for research and the building of facilities necessary to research. So far this has resulted in a new $60 million Life Sciences Center which opened in 2004 on the University of Missouri-Columbia's campus, and a proposed $175 million Human Health Research Center.

REDI was also involved in the $5.5 million project to purchase and renovate Boone County Fairgrounds, completed in 2003, and is now working with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) on annexing an 80 acre field adjacent to the 134 acre Fairgrounds, and adding an ice skating rink, several playing fields, a dog park, community gardens, and walking trails. The Flat Branch Park beautification project was completed in 2004, with funds contributed by corporate sponsors of REDI, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and CVB, which own the adjacent Walton Building of which REDI is a tenant. Downtown renovation projects have been ongoing for over a decade, and central Columbia today sports widened streets, benches and trees, new street lights and decorative trash can lids, all with an eye to both retail and residential use. The latest is the Eighth Street Beautification Project. In 2002 REDI unveiled its "Incentives White Paper," which proposed more ways to expand established businesses and bring in new ones. It focused on using Chapter 100 bonds but had other ideas such as a "microloan" program to help businesses which didn't fit the criteria for the many other incentive programs offered by REDI. Two other projects are focused on improving traffic flow. One is a new interchange at Highway 63 and Gans Road, which will improve the infrastructure and perhaps pave the way for future development near the intersection, besides allaying traffic woes. The second is a $1.3 million railroad terminal and warehouse made possible through cooperation between REDI and Columbia Terminal Railroad (nicknamed COLT). The terminal itself is expected to cut down traffic on I-70 by giving businesses the option to ship by rail, and the warehouse allows companies that don't have locations near the terminal to nevertheless use the rail option.

Economic Development Information: Regional Economic Development, Inc., 300 South Providence Road, Columbia, MO 65203; telephone (573)442-8303; fax (573)443-3986. Missouri Department of Economic Development, 301 West High Street, PO box 118, Jefferson City, MO 65101, telephone (573)751-4962, fax (573)526-7700

Commercial Shipping

Boone County has 20 Interstate motor freight lines serving it, with 14 terminals in Columbia. Railroads serving the area are COLT (Columbia Terminal), Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, and Gateway Western. Seven air freight carriers serve the area, and Trans World Express offers nine flights daily to St. Louis.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Boone County's main area of job growth is in the service industry, although most of these jobs are lower-paying. One recent study found that approximately 33,000 of the area's more than 240,000 civilian labor force was underemployed, meaning they possessed skills, training, or degrees beyond what their jobs required.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Boone County labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 86,600

Number of workers employed in . . .

trade, transportation and utilities: 14,400

government: 29,200

Average hourly wage of production workers employed in manufacturing: $12.74

Unemployment rate: 3.6% (May 2005)

Largest county employers Number of employees
University of Missouri 11,868
University hospital and clinics 4,320
Columbia Public Schools 3,000
Boone Hospital Center 2,028
City of Columbia 1,168
State of Missouri, (excludes UMC) 1,071
MBS Textbook Exchange, Inc. 1,006
Harry S. Truman Veteran's Hospital 1,000
Shelter Insurance 991
State Farm Insurance 952
U.S. Government (excludes VA hospital) 926
Hubbell/Chance Company 908

Cost of Living

Columbia consistently ranks below the national average for cost of living. The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Columbia metropolitan area.

2005 (1st Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $234,580

2005 (1st Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 90.8 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 1.5% to 6.0%

State sales tax rate: 4.225%

Local income tax rate: none

Local sales tax rate: 3.125%

Property tax rate: $6.32 per $100 of assessed value (2004)

Economic Information: Missouri Department of Economic Development, PO Box 118, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0118; telephone (573)751-4241; toll-free (800)523-1434

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Columbia: Education and Research

Columbia: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Columbia Public School District is the seventh largest in the state of Missouri. Local students rank in the 80th to 95th percentile on the Missouri Mastery and Achievement Tests for elementary schools. Over a four year period, Columbia students taking the national Scholastic Aptitude Tests averaged more than a hundred points higher than national average on both the verbal and math portions of the test. The district is among only a few in the nation that have graduated more than a half dozen Presidential Scholars since the honor was first established in 1964. The National Governor's Association has named the district one of only 16 model districts in the country.

In response to the No Child Left Behind Act, superintendent Phyllis Chase, new to the district in 2003 and the first African American to hold the position, has made impressive progress in closing the achievement gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged students, as well as between African American and white students. Chase has chosen an elementary schoolwith a majority of African American students and more than 70 percent from lower income levelsto transform into a model school, lengthening the school year and considering a substantial raise in teacher pay. The community has voted to support this by approving a $22.5 million bond issue, even amidst a budget crunch. More than 60 percent of all teachers hold a master's degree. Special assessment efforts, reading intensive activities, and summer school programs are directed at students at risk of dropping out. At the other end of the achievement spectrum is the A + program in which students with superior attendance, grades, and citizenship records can earn free tuition to a two-year community college, vocational-technical schools, or the Columbia Area Career Center (run by the public school district). The free Summer Enrichment program offers core academic studies in the morning and enrichment activities in the afternoon. There is a Parents As Teachers program, a family literacy program in which adults can work on GED certification or other educational goals such as learning English, while their children attend pre-school, and other volunteer programs which encourage adult volunteers from the community to join in a partnership for mentoring or service skills education.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Columbia Public Schools System as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 16,240

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 20

junior high/middle schools: 6

high schools: 4

other: 2 vocational centers

Student/teacher ratio: 22.5:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $26,700

maximum: $47,229

Funding per pupil: $6,117

Columbia also has 11 private schools, mostly maintained by religious organizations, with enrollments totaling about 1,100.

Public Schools Information: Columbia Public Schools, 1818 W. Worley St., Columbia, MO 65203; telephone (573)886-2100

Colleges and Universities

The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), with more than 27,000 students, offers 286 degree programs, including 95 bachelor degrees. MU was founded in 1839 and was the first public university west of the Mississippi. Columbia College, a private, coeducational institution, was originally called Christian Female College when it was founded in 1851. It was the first women's college west of the Mississippi to be chartered by a state legislature. It changed its name in 1970 when it went coed and offered bachelor's and post-graduate degrees in addition to associate's degrees. Columbia College now has almost 1,000 students at its day campus, and over 3,000 working adults at its evening campus, 30 extended campuses around the nation, including Guantanamo Bay, and an impressive online college. Stephens College, founded in 1833, is the nation's second oldest women's college. Stephens offers a liberal arts curriculum and pre-professional programs, with 23 majors and 20 minors in three schools of study. Stephens is the only four year women's college in Missouri and remains dedicated to women's education in the new millennium.

Libraries and Research

The Columbia Public Library is the newest addition to Daniel Boone Regional Libraries, which more than doubled its size. The $22 million project was completed in 2002 and boasts 110,000 square feet of space, 444,897 volumes, and 50 computer terminals. The design of the new building features curves and cylindrical shapes and a carefully planned system of signs that allow patrons to find things easily. Ellis Library at the University of Missouri-Columbia, with holdings of 10.2 million items including 3.2 million volumes, is one of the largest libraries in the Midwest. MU also has the Law Library, and six other specific branches for veterinary medicine, geological sciences, health sciences, engineering, journalism, and mathematical sciences. Its online catalog of resources, called MERLIN for Missouri Education and Research Libraries Information Network, makes materials available from the University of Missouri's four campuses and St. Louis University. MU's Special collections include an extensive historical and contemporary collection of government documents, Microform Collection, Rare Book Collection, Newspaper Collections, and the Comic Art Collection with original and reprints of classic comic strips, underground comics, and graphic novels. The State Historical Society of Missouri Library has special collections on church histories, literature, Midwestern history, and Missouri newspapers. Columbia College's Stafford Library has special collections in biography, history, American civilization, and costume. The Midwest Science Center Library features a collection on wildlife research. Stephens College has special libraries which encompass women's studies, educational resources, and children's literature.

A number of institutions have research facilities in Columbia. These include the Ellis Fischel Cancer Research Center at University of Missouri; the Center for National Food and Agricultural Policy (also at MU); the Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center, which does research along with providing psychiatric inpatient treatment; the Missouri Coop Fish and Wild-life Research Unit; a division of the U.S. Geological Survey of the Department of the Interior; Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, which holds an eye tissue bank and does research into glaucoma treatment and all things involving preserving and restoring eyesight; the Rehabilitation Research Foundation, part of MU's Health Psychology Department; and the U.S.D.A. Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory.

The University of Missouri at Columbia has a budget of $141 million for research with an additional $161 million that is externally funded. Research topics include computer assisted reporting, agriculture and agronomy, animal sciences, arthritis, business and public administration, social sciences including studies on aging, spectrometry (analytical tools to identify chemical compounds and structures of molecules) diseases such as diabetes, cardiological disorders, and cystic fibrosis, exercise physiology, engineering, water resources, magnetic imaging technology, and nuclear engineering.

Public Library Information: Daniel Boone Regional Library, PO Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205; telephone (573)443-3161; fax (573)499-0191

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Columbia: Recreation

Columbia: Recreation

Sightseeing

Downtown Columbia itself is a stunning sight to see, where four massive columns stand in front of the stately Boone County Courthouse. The Firestone Baars Chapel, which was designed by architect Eero Saarinen of the St. Louis Arch fame, is also in the heart of downtown Columbia. Tours of the Victorian-era Maplewood Home, built in 1877 and beautifully restored, are available to give the public a glimpse into 19th century country estate life. The Columbia Audubon Trailside Museum has exhibits on birds and other creatures and offers workshops on nature. A genealogy center, a photo collection, an art collection and works of local artists are among many historical artifacts on display at the State Historical Society Housed in the Ellis Library on the MU campus. More than 1,500 types of flowers and 300 trees can be seen at Shelter Insurance Gardens, which also features a one-room red brick school house, a "sensory garden" designed for the visually impaired, many other attractions such as a giant sundial, and free summer concerts on its five acres. The writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as part of a sculptured amphitheater at King Memorial Gardens, is another must-see in Columbia, where its landscaping with benches and walk-ways provides a placid setting for cultural events.

Historic Rocheport, just 12 miles west of the city, began as an early trading post on the Missouri River in 1825 and prospered due to the building of the railroad. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, this charming town offers top-rate antique and craft shops, excellent restaurants, a local winery, and an annual RiverFest in early June.

Arts and Culture

The Missouri Theatre is central Missouri's only pre-Depression-era movie palace and vaudeville stage. It presents a variety of programs throughout the year. The Rhynsberger Theater, on the University of Missouri's campus, is the site for dramatic performances by visiting actors as well as faculty and students. The Repertory Theatre performs there in the summertime. Both professional and student productions can be enjoyed at Stephens College's Macklanburg Playhouse and Warehouse Theatre. Columbia's primary community theater group is the Maplewood Barn Theater, part of the historic Maplewood Home in Rocheport, which performs outdoors in summer months. The Columbia Entertainment Company is a dynamic theatrical troupe that gives rousing musical and dramatic performances throughout the year, as well as offering a drama school for adults and children. Columbia can also boast of Arrow Rock Lyceum Theater and two acting groups that focus on children, PACE or Performing Arts in Children's Education, and TRYPS, acronym for Theater Reaching Yong People and Schools.

The Missouri Symphony makes its home in the historic Missouri Theatre and holds its summer festival every June and July. The University Concert Series brings opera, ballet, orchestra, chamber music, jazz, dance, and theatrical performances. Other musical groups in the city are the Columbia Community Choir and the Columbia Chorale Ensemble.

Columbia's museums offer a variety of lectures, classes, and exhibits. More than 13,000 artifacts and works of art from prehistoric times to the present are housed at the University of Missouri-Columbia's Museum of Art and Archeology. Also on campus, the Museum of Anthropology displays Native American materials and archeology from the Midwest, and the Rogers Gallery highlights exhibits on architecture and interior design, as well as student art works. Rotating exhibits of professional and amateur artists are showcased at the Columbia Art League Gallery, while the work of students and faculty is shown at the Columbia College Art Gallery.

African American intellectual culture is the focus of the Black Culture Center, which offers various programs and conducts research. The story of Boone County over the decades is the subject of the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum and Visitor's Center, set in a wood-hewn family farmhouse with weathered boards and wide porches. This 16,000-square-foot house features exhibits on westward expansion along the Booneslick Trail, and portrays the pioneers who settled in the region.

Festivals and Holidays

Columbia ushers in spring in April with the annual Earth Day celebration. With May comes the Salute to Veterans Air Show and Parade, the largest free air show in the United States. June is the time for the annual Art in the Park Fair and the weekly Twilight Festivals. June also features the J.W. Boone Ragtime Festival, where folks can enjoy the sounds of early jazz and ragtime of the Roaring '20s. The Fourth of July celebration, called Fire in the Sky, kicks off the month, and the Boone County Fair and Horse Show keeps the excitement going. The International Buckskin Horse World Championship and the Lion's Antique show are held in August. In September the Twilight Festivals restart, but the highlight of the month must be the Heritage Festival. October sees the annual Missouri Fall Festival, in which the courthouse Square is transformed into a showcase of regional arts and crafts. November events include the Annual Fall Craft Show and the Downtown Holiday Parade. The downtown Holiday Festival and the Christmas Past 1865 at the Maplewood Home celebrate the December holiday season, which is capped by the First Night Celebration and Midway Invitational Rodeo and Dance on December 31st and January 1st.

Sports for the Spectator

Big 12 conference basketball, football, NCI Division baseball, wrestling, volleyball, softball, gymnastics, and track and field are all available for sports fan to watch. The city is close enough to both St. Louis and Kansas City to enjoy their major league baseball, football, and basketball teams.

Sports for the Participant

Columbia enjoys 58 parks stretching over 2,400 acres of land, with such facilities as swimming pools, tennis courts, softball fields, volleyball courts, fishing lakes, hiking and wheelchair accessible trails, golf courses, and even horseshoe pits. The Show-Me State Games, an annual Olympic style athletic competition, welcomes amateur competitors. Bikers and runners enjoy the MKT Nature & Fitness Trail, an 8.9 mile path that connects with the 225 mile Katy Trail, the nation's longest rails-to-trails conversion.

Shopping and Dining

Columbia provides a variety of shopping experiences with 16 shopping centers in addition to its major downtown shopping district. The largest mall is the 140 store Columbia Mall, which features major national chain stores. Forum Shopping Center has a big indoor entertainment center for children. The city's downtown, bordered on three sides by college campuses, features specialty shops and retail stores, and especially an abundance of antique shops, such as the 6,000 square foot Grandma's Treasures, which features antique jewelry, glass collectibles, and furniture.

Dining establishments come in all forms in the city; more than 300 restaurants, from American bistros, haute cuisine, ethnic eateries, and one of central Missouri's only brewpubs, the Flat Branch Pub & Brewery, located near the courthouse. Les Bourgeois Vineyard in Rocheport offers an elegant menu and variety of award-winning wines.

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Columbia: History

Columbia: History

Located at the middle of South Carolina, the city of Columbia was carved out of the countryside by order of the state legislature, which wanted to establish a new capital more centrally situated than Charleston. By that time, the area had been important in the state's development for more than a century. Early settlers were mostly Scots-Irish, German, and English farmers who moved to the hills of northwestern South Carolina, having little in common with the wealthy planters of Charleston. "The Congarees," a frontier fort on the river's west bank, was the head of navigation on the Santee River system. In 1754 a ferry service was initiated to connect the fort with the settlement that was developing on the east bank's higher ground.

The new capital, named Columbia in honor of Christopher Columbus, was set on Taylor's Hill where the Broad and Saluda rivers merge to form the Congaree River. The General Assembly moved to Columbia in 1791. History tells of a visit by George Washington during that year as part of his tour of South Carolina.

Development of America's First "Planned City"

One of the first planned cities in America, Columbia was laid out in a two-mile square surrounding the site of the State House. The city's streets, designed in a grid, were named for heroes of the Revolution and for the state's agricultural products, such as rice, wheat, blossom, and indigo.

By the early 1880s the town had become an agricultural center, and soon the state had become the leading cotton producer in the nation. The first textile mill was introduced in 1832, and saw mills, cotton gins, tanneries, carriage manufacturers, and iron foundries were soon to follow. With the establishment of steamship connections to the Congaree and Santee rivers, many of the city's cotton merchants handled shipments that earlier had moved overland to the port at Charleston. South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) was founded in 1801, and the ensuing close relationship between the college, the city, and the legislature endures to the present day.

By mid-century, the local economy was strengthened by growing accessibility to the eastern United States via the railroad. A distinctive style of architecture, known as Columbia Cottage, had emerged. To help assuage the often unpleasant summer heat, builders designed a structure to maximize the effect of natural breezes. The building featured a raised cottage with an enclosed basement above the ground, halls from front to back, windows that reached the floor, and ceilings often 15 feet high.

Civil War Brings Destruction

Columbia, with a population of 8,000, was the site of the First Secession Convention and was instrumental in establishing the Confederacy and keeping it supplied with uniforms, swords, cannonballs, and other supplies over the course of the Civil War. The city was destroyed by the fiery rampage of General William T. Sherman in 1865, which left almost everything in ruins except the university. Reconstruction was a time of great hardship, but by the 1890s the city finally reemerged as a center of agricultural commerce.

Major Fort Important to City

By 1900 large cotton mills had been built and nearly 9,000 people worked in the city's mill district. The period prior to World War I and until the Great Depression of the 1930s was one of prosperity. Trade was growing, banks and hospitals multiplied, and the city became the state's business center. East of the city the U.S. Army built Fort Jackson, presently one of the country's largest infantry training bases. Thanks to a diversified economy, the city survived the Great Depression without as much pain as some other areas of the country. Between 1940 and 1950 the population grew by more than one-third, in part due to Fort Jackson's role in the training of soldiers for World War II.

Economic and Social Progress Made Since Mid-Century

By the post-War 1950s, small and medium-sized factories were developing, and new industries such as electronics, military equipment, textiles, cameras, and structural steel further diversified the economy. During the period of the civil rights struggle in the 1960s, Mayor Lester Bates and a biracial committee of 60 citizens worked together to quietly and systematically encourage the desegregation of the city. By 1963 the university was integrated, and in 1964, 24 African American students entered previously all-white public schools.

The 1970s saw the creation of downtown's Main Street Mall and the completion of Riverbanks Zoological Park. In subsequent years Riverfront Park was developed, the Koger Center for Performing Arts opened, and new interstate highways made the city even more accessible regionally and nationally. Today, more people are moving to Columbia and its crime rate has fallen 25 percent. The city is making strides to revitalize old neighborhoods, improve its city center streetscapes and make the area's river system more accessible and enjoyable for its residents. Foreign investors are realizing the benefits of locating their manufacturing and production businesses to the area and Columbia is becoming a leading research and technology center of the region.

Historical Information: South Carolina (State) Department of Archives and History, Archives and History Center, 8301 Parklane Rd., Columbia, SC 29223; telephone (803) 896-6100. South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum Library, Columbia Mills Building, 301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29214-0001; telephone (803)737-8095

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Columbia: History

Columbia: History

Before the coming of Europeans, Osage and Missouri tribes roamed the area of Columbia and Boone County. The "Missouri," meaning "people with dugout canoes," were originally from the Ohio River Valley, prehistoric evidence shows. The fierce and fierce-looking Osage were the predominant tribe of the area. They were a pierced and tattooed, jewelry bedecked, tall, robust, warlike people who dominated other tribes in the region. The men shaved their heads but for a strip at the crown, and wore loincloths and buckskin leggings; the women wore deerskin dresses, and leggings and moccasins as well. They were primarily migrating hunters and gatherers, although they also farmed corn, beans, and pumpkins. The Osage are considered a fringe Plains tribe even though they dwelled mostly in forested areas, because they spoke a Sioux branch of language and went on buffalo hunting excursions on the Great Plains twice annually.

The first Europeans to encounter the Osage were the French, led by Marquette's exploration down the Mississippi for New France in the 1670s. The French and the Osage soon became partners in the fur trade, and with guns and horses gained from this union, the Osage dominated other tribes even more than before. They helped the French defeat the British in 1755, but stayed out of the colonial war. More Europeans came to the area; the Spanish influence grew as that of the French waned. The Osage were pushed to reservations in Kansas and finally what is now Oklahoma by a series of "treaties" made through the 1800s.

The United States gained the Missouri Territory from France in 1803. The Lewis and Clark expedition passed nearby in that same year, and Daniel Boone and his sons started a settlement in 1806. They also established the Booneslick Trail which led all the way from Kentucky to the Columbia area. In 1818 the town of Smithton, named for its purchaser, the Smithton Land Company, was established. However, in need of a better water supply, the entire town of 20 residents was moved to its present site in 1821. The settlement of mud-daubed log huts, which was surrounded by wilderness, was renamed Columbia, a popular name at the time, and became the seat of Boone County. Although Columbia is in the Midwest it had a very Southern feel in the early days, as many of its settlers were from below the Mason-Dixon line.

From its beginnings, the economy of Columbia has rested on education. It also benefited from being a stagecoach stop of the Santa Fe and Oregon trails, and later from the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad (nicknamed Katy). Columbia was incorporated in 1826, five years after Missouri became the 24th state. The city's progress can be traced through the development of its institutions. In 1824 Columbia was the site of a new courthouse; in 1830 its first newspaper began; in 1832 the first theater in the state was opened; and in 1834 a school system began to serve its by then 700 citizens. The state's first agricultural fair was held in Columbia in 1835. A school for girls was opened in 1833, and an institution called Columbia College (unrelated to the present school) was opened in 1834. Also in 1834, one of the country's finest portrait artists, George Caleb Bingham, opened a studio in Columbia. In 1841, the University of Missouri was built in Columbia after Boone County won out over several competing counties in raising money and setting aside land. In 1851, Christian Female College was established; it went coed in the 1970s and changed its name to Columbia College. In 1855, Baptist Female College was established; still a women's-only school, it is now known as Stephens College. By 1839, the population and wealth of Boone County, with 13,000 citizens, was exceeded only by that of St. Louis County.

Slavery was a largely accepted practice in Columbia in its early days, and the slave population had reached more than 5,000 by the beginning of the Civil War. In fact, the sale of slaves continued until 1864. Before the Civil War many Columbians were very nationalistic and supported the Missouri Compromise, which would admit Missouri into the Union as a slave state, but would placate northerners with the admission of Maine as a free state and the establishment of the rest of the Louisiana Purchase, north and west of Missouri's southern border, as free territory. Early in the Civil War, Union forces secured the area and enforced mandatory draft into the local militia; however, although the state was officially Union, people were in reality sharply divided, and supported both sides with supplies and men.

Since the turmoil of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Columbia's history is marked by steady and quiet growth and prosperity, based on its roots in education, as well as health care and insurance. The health care business can be said to have started in 1822 when Dr. William Jewell set up a hospital in his own home; today Columbia is among the top in the nation for medical facilities per capita. The insurance business has its roots in Columbia's early days as well, when pragmatic local businessmen started a fund to aid one another in case of fire.

Historical Information: State Historical Society of Missouri, Lowry Mall, University of Missouri, Columbia campus; telephone (573)882-7083. Boone County Historical Society, 3801 Ponderosa Street, Columbia, MO; telephone (573)443-8936

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Columbia: Education and Research

Columbia: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Richland County has three school districts: Richland School District One and Two and School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties. Richland School District Two is a suburban school district serving the rapidly growing northeast section of Richland County. Thirteen of its eighteen schools have been named national Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education's Excellence in Education Program. Three elementary schools and two middle schools have been named "Palmetto's Finest schools."

The following is a summary of data regarding Richland County School District Two as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 18,969

Number of facilities elementary schools: 13

middle schools: 5

high schools: 4

other: 1 child development center with 5 satellites districtwide; 2 magnet schools; 1 secondary alternative school for non-violent, chronically disruptive students

Student/teacher ratio: 20.7:1

Teacher salaries average: $41,321

Funding per pupil: $7,547

Greater Columbia is home to 72 private and parochial schools.

Public Schools Information: Richland School District Two, 6831 Brookfield Road, Columbia, SC 29206; telephone (803)787-1910

Colleges and Universities

Columbia is the home of ten institutions of higher learning, including the University of South Carolina (USC), which has gained regional recognition for its programs in law, marketing, geography, medicine, marine science, nursing, engineering, business administration, and social work. The Columbia campus of South University offers programs in accounting, business administration, computer information systems, medical assisting and paralegal/legal studies and a paralegal certificate program. Baptist-affiliated Benedict College, a traditionally African American college, offers four-year degrees in more than 30 majors. Columbia College, a Methodist-related women's liberal arts school, offers bachelor's of arts and science and master's of arts degrees in such areas as public affairs and human relations, business administration, and communications, as well as a coeducational Evening College and Graduate School. Allen University, an African Methodist Episcopal four-year college, offers liberal arts and teacher education. Midlands Technical College, a two-year multi-campus college, offers technical and academic training. Other local colleges are Newberry College, a Lutheran liberal arts college; Columbia International University and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, both specializing in religious studies; and Columbia Junior College, offering associate degrees in eleven professional programs.

Libraries and Research Centers

In addition to its main library, the Richland County Public Library has nine branches and a bookmobile. The library has more than 1.13 million volumes and subscribes to 2,840 periodical titles. It also has more than 45,554 audio materials and 30,630 visual materials. They include microforms, audio cassettes/tapes, compact discs, CD-ROM titles, maps, and art reproductions. Its special collections include a local history collection, large print books, and rare and out-of-print books. The library offers many programs for children and adults, including frequent lectures by authors. The library enjoys many programming partnerships with the University of South Carolina (USC), the Historic Columbia Foundation, and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington counties. Since 1987 it has co-sponsored the annual A(ugusta) Baker's Dozena Celebration of Stories with the College of Library and Information Science Department at USC. The celebration honors Augusta Baker and features well-known, award-winning authors and illustrators of children's books and outstanding storytellers each year.

Also located in Columbia is the South Carolina State Library, which houses nearly 250,000 volumes, more than 26,000 periodicals, plus microfilm, government publications, and audio visual materials. Its special collections include ERIC, Foundation Center Cooperating Collection, South Carolina collection, and state documents. A special feature of the library's web site home page is the South Carolina Reference Room, a guide to a broad range of information on state topics. The University of South Carolina campus library system has more than 2 million volumes and almost 17,000 periodical subscriptions.

Many of Columbia's research centers are affiliated within the University of South Carolina (USC). More than 80 institutes and centers comprise the University's research effort. In 2004, USC received $149 million in federal, state and private funding for its research, outreach and training programs. Notable among the funding recipients is the University's NanoCenter which is engaged in researching the applications of the world's smallest electronic circuits.

Public Library Information: Richland County Public Library, 1431 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201; telephone (803)799-9084; fax (803)929-3448. South Carolina State Library, PO Box 11469, Columbia, SC 29211; telephone (803)734-8666.

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Columbia (cities, United States)

Columbia (kəlŭm´bēə). 1 City (1990 pop. 75,883), Howard co., central Md., between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Founded in 1967 and developed by James Rouse, it is one of the largest and most successful American planned cities. It incorporates nine villages around a downtown, along with schools, churches, a mall with more than 200 stores, parks, and business and cultural facilities. The Post-Merriweather Outdoor Pavilion is Columbia's cultural focal point.

2 City (1990 pop. 69,101), seat of Boone co., central Mo.; inc. 1826. The trade center of a farm and coal area, it has some light manufacturing but is best known as the seat of the Univ. of Missouri and Stephens College. The city is a medical center, with the university hospital, a state cancer hospital, a state regional mental health center, and a veterans' hospital. Houses in the city date from c.1820.

3 City (1990 pop. 98,052), state capital, and seat of Richland co., central S.C., at the head of navigation on the Congaree River; inc. 1805. It is the largest city in the state and an important trade and commercial point in the heart of a fertile farm region. Its industries include boatbuilding and the manufacture of electric equipment, paper and metal products, stainless steel, and apparel. A trading post flourished nearby in the early 18th cent. In 1786 the site was chosen for the new state capital because of its central location; the legislature first met in its new quarters in 1790. During the Civil War, General Sherman's army entered Columbia on Feb. 17, 1865. That night the city was burned and almost totally destroyed by drunken Union soldiers. An educational center, Columbia is the seat of the Univ. of South Carolina, Benedict College, Columbia College, Allen Univ., and Columbia International Univ. Notable buildings include the statehouse (begun 1855, damaged in 1865, completed 1901), President Woodrow Wilson's boyhood home (1870), and several antebellum houses. Also of interest are the South Carolina Archives Building; the Columbia Museum of Art and Science; the Midlands Exposition Park, with historical exhibits; and a zoo. Adjacent to the city is U.S. Fort Jackson, a major infantry training center. Lake Murray (formed by the dammed Saluda River) and Congaree National Park are nearby.

4 City (1990 pop. 28,583), seat of Maury co., central Tenn., on the Duck River; inc. 1817. Once a noted mule market and racing horse center, it is the trade and processing hub of a fertile area producing beef cattle and burley tobacco, as well as a shipping point for the region's limestone and phosphate deposits. Columbia has many fine antebellum homes, such as the James K. Polk House (1816). A national jubilee for Tennessee walking horses is annually held in June.

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Columbia: Communications

Columbia: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

Columbia's two daily newspapers are the Columbia Daily Tribune, which appears every weekday evening and Saturday and Sunday evening, and the Columbia Missourian, which is the morning paper. The weekly Missourian Weekend is a general interest newspaper. People in the area also read the Boone County Journal, Columbia Business Times, Columbia Senior Times, and the Centralia Fireside Guard.

Publications affiliated with the University of Missouri include the monthly Journal of Chemical Crystallography, semi-annuals Journal of Dispute Resolution and Theatre Topics, and the quarterlies Missouri Historical Review and Missouri Law Review. Other publications coming out of Columbia are the Missouri Free Press and Sheep Breeder and Sheepman, the quarterlies Voice of the Diabetic, Monthly Realtor, Ruralist, MIZZOU Magazine, an MU alumni quarterly, and School and Community, a journal of the Missouri State Teacher's Association. Today's Farmer appears ten times a year.

Television and Radio

The city has four television network affiliates and one cable television network. The formats of the 20 FM and 8 AM radio stations available to Columbia listeners cover the gamut of musical tastes along with news, talk, and public broadcasting

Media Information: Columbia Daily Tribune, 101 N. Fourth St., PO Box 798, Columbia, MO 65205; telephone (573)815-1500.Columbia Missourian, 221 S 8th St., PO Box 917, Columbia, MO 65202; telephone (573)882-5700

Columbia Online

City of Columbia, Missouri. Available www.gocolumbiamo.com

Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Available www.chamber.columbia.mo.us

Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.visitcolumbiamo.com

Columbia Daily Tribune. Available www.showmenews.com

Columbia, Missouri Economic Development. Available www.columbiaredi.com

Columbia Public Schools. Available www.columbia.k12.mo.us

State Historical Society of Missouri. Available www.system.missouri.edu/shs

Selected Bibliography

Batterson, Paulina Ann, The First Fifty Years (Columbia Public Relations Committee, Columbia Chamber of Commerce, 1965)

Havig, Alan, Columbia, An Illustrated History

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Columbia: Communications

Columbia: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

Columbia's daily (morning) newspaper, The State, is also South Carolina's major paper. In addition, the city publishes three weekly newspapers including the Columbia Star, which covers human interest and legal news, Free Times, Columbia's free paper, and Columbia Black News. About 20 magazines and journals are published in Columbia, including the Business and Economic Review, published by the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business, Columbia Metropolitan Magazine, and South Carolina Game and Fish, and three magazines directed at farmers.

Television and Radio

Five television stations broadcast in Columbia, affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, as well as South Carolina Educational Television. Three cable stations also serve the area; a government information station is available on a local cable network. Six AM and 14 FM radio stations offer music, information, news, call-in talk programs, and religious programming.

Media Information: The State, Knight-Ridder, Inc., P.O. Box 1333, Columbia, SC 29202; telephone (800)888-5353

Columbia Online

Central South Carolina Alliance. Available www.centralsc.org

City of Columbia Home Page. Available www.columbiasc.net

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Available www.columbiacvb.com

Columbia Today. Available www.columbiatoday.com

Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Available www.columbiachamber.com/new/index.htm

Richland County Public Library. Available www.richland.lib.sc.us

Richland School District One. Available www.richlandone.org

Richland School District Two. Available my.richland2.org/portal/server.pt#

South Carolina State Library. Available www.state.sc.us/scsl

The State. Available www.thestate.com

Selected Bibliography

Edgar, Walter B. and Deborah K. Wolley, Columbia: Portrait of a City, 1976.

Maxey, Russell, South Carolina's Historic Columbia: Yesterday and Today in Photographs, 1980.

Moore, John Hammond, Columbia and Richland County: A South Carolina Community, 17401990, 1993.

Rawl, Miriam Freeman, From the Ashes of Ruin (Columbia, S.C.: Summerhouse Press, 1999)

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Columbia: Population Profile

Columbia: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 100,376

1990: 112,379

2000: 135,454

Percent change, 19902000: 20.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 282nd

U.S. rank in 1990: 288th

U.S. rank in 2000: 221st

City Residents

1980: 62,061

1990: 69,101

2000: 84,531

2003 estimate: 90,947

Percent change, 19902000: 18.25%

U.S. rank in 1980: 324th

U.S. rank in 1990: 331st

U.S. rank in 2000: 339th (state rank: 6th)

Density: 1,592.8 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 68,923

Black or African American: 9,173

American Indian and Alaska Native: 331

Asian: 3,636

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 30

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 1,733

Other: 684

Percent of residents born in state: 62.5% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 4,884

Population 5 to 9 years old: 4,706

Population 10 to 14 years old: 4,537

Population 15 to 19 years old: 9,275

Population 20 to 24 years old: 15,885

Population 25 to 34 years old: 13,420

Population 35 to 44 years old: 10,817

Population 45 to 54 years old: 8,865

Population 55 to 59 years old: 2,729

Population 60 to 64 years old: 2,133

Population 65 to 74 years old: 3,440

Population 75 to 84 years old: 2,678

Population 85 years and older: 1,162

Median Age: 26.8 years

Births (2003)

Total number: 1,875

Deaths (2003)

Total number: 902 (of which, 12 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money Income (1999)

Per capita income: $27,991

Median household income: $33,729

Total households: 33,819

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 5,007

$10,000 to $14,999: 2,705

$15,000 to $24,999: 5,208

$25,000 to $34,999: 4,436

$35,000 to $49,999: 4,870

$50,000 to $74,999: 5,347

$75,000 to $99,999: 3,072

$100,000 to $149,999: 2,125

$150,000 to $199,999: 509

$200,000 or more: 540

Percent of families below poverty level: 9.4% (29.1% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 3,837

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Columbia: Population Profile

Columbia: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 410,000

1990: 453,932

2000: 536,691

Percent change, 19902000: 18.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 82nd

U.S. rank in 1990: 79th

U.S. rank in 2000: 79th

City Residents

1980: 101,229

1990: 110,734

2000: 116,278

2003 estimate: 117,357

Percent change, 19902000: 1.6%

U.S. rank in 1990: 203rd

U.S. rank in 2000: 198th (State rank: 1st)

Density: 928.6 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 57,236 Black or African American: 53,465 American Indian and Alaska Native: 296 Asian: 2,008 Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: 104 Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 3,520 Other: 1,582

Percent of residents born in state: 59.2% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Poplation under 5 years old: 6,478

Poplation 5 to 9 years old: 6,495

Poplation 10 to 14 years old: 6,195

Poplation 15 to 19 years old: 13,248

Poplation 20 to 24 years old: 17,556

Poplation 25 to 34 years old: 19,541

Poplation 35 to 44 years old: 15,466

Poplation 45 to 54 years old: 12,381

Poplation 55 to 59 years old: 3,948

Poplation 60 to 64 years old: 2,988

Poplation 65 to 74 years old: 5,846

Poplation 75 to 84 years old: 4,595

Poplation 85 years and older: 1,541

Median age: 28.6 years (2000)

Births (Richland County, 2002)

Total number: 4,375

Deaths (Richland County, 2002)

Total number: 2,582 (of which, 29 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $18,853

Median household income: $31,141

Total households: 41,960

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 7,012

$10,000 to $14,999: 3,535

$15,000 to $24,999: 6,666

$25,000 to $34,999: 5,976

$35,000 to $49,999: 6,409

$50,000 to $74,999: 5,721

$75,000 to $99,999: 2,647

$100,000 to $149,999: 2,128

$150,000 to $199,999: 760

$200,000 or more: 1,116

Percent of families below poverty level: 17.0% (38.1% of which were female householder families in poverty)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 10,307

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Columbia: Health Care

Columbia: Health Care

The city of Columbia prides itself on being a regional leader in providing quality health care services. The University of South Carolina's School of Medicine adds invaluable research and training resources. The university is one of the few in the country offering a graduate program in genetic counseling. Palmetto Health is the State's largest and most comprehensive health care systems; its institutions in Columbia include Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, a 649-bed regional community teaching hospital serving all of South Carolina, and Palmetto Baptist Medical Center with 489 beds. The Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center complex includes a 216-bed hospital and 5 community outpatient clinics located in Anderson, Florence, Greenville, Orangeburg, Rock Hill, and Sumter. Other Columbia hospitals are the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute providing psychiatric and chemical addiction inpatient care for children and adolescents; G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital for adults; and the 64-bed Moncrief Army Community Hospital in Fort Jackson, among others. Also serving the health care needs of Columbia metropolitan area residents are Fairfield Memorial Hospital, a 50-bed hospital located in Winnsboro; Providence Hospital and Providence Heart Institute, a nationally recognized referral center for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease; and Lexington Medical Center, offering specialized care for breast cancer and prostate problems, plus advanced cardiac, vascular and pulmonary rehabilitation, outpatient surgery, a state-of-the-art emergency department, outpatient surgery and diagnostics, radiation oncology, radiology, surgery, and physical therapy.

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Columbia: Health Care

Columbia: Health Care

Columbia's hospitals provide the best health care for Central Missourians, comparable to that of cities many times its size. Nine major hospitals serve the area, with specializations such as a children's hospital, a Ronald McDonald house (hospices for families of children undergoing long hospital stays), residential schools for the mentally handicapped, rehabilitation services, many full service nursing homes or assisted living facilities, and a large corps of visiting nurses. Columbia has the only Level I trauma unit between St. Louis and Kansas City. In addition there are facilities for organ transplantation, cancer treatment, and centers for people with spinal cord injuries and birth defects, notably the Howard A. Rusk Rehabilitation Center. The 344-bed Boone Hospital specializes in surgery, oncology, cardiology, neurology, and obstetrics. Columbia Regional Hospital, with 265 beds, excels at sports medicine, opthamology, and outpatient surgery, among others. The 96-bed Charter Behavioral Health System of Columbia treats emotional and mental disorders of patients of all ages, while the Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center offers short term intensive psychiatric help for children and adults. Eligible veterans are served by the 54-bed Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran's Hospital. Columbia Regional, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, and Children's Hospital are under the umbrella of University of Missouri Health Sciences Center as well as University Hospitals and Clinics and its School of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Related Professions. Family Health Center provides comprehensive care for uninsured and underinsured people, and for Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

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Columbia: Transportation

Columbia: Transportation

Approaching the City

Columbia is centrally located and easily accessible from cities throughout the state and the nation. Six airlines serve Columbia Metropolitan Airport, which is located eight miles from downtown. The airport recently underwent a $3.1 million road improvement project and the construction of a multilevel parking garage for 1,837 cars plus an additional 1,668 uncovered spaces. Airlines include Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines and Delta Connection, Northwest Airlines, Independence Air, United Express, and U.S. Airways Express. Amtrak offers daily rail departures and arrivals from the Eastern seaboard from New York City to Miami. Three interstate highways (I-20, I-26, I-77) crisscross the city of Columbia, with two other major interstates (I-85 and I-95) within an hour's drive. The area also has eight U.S. highways. Columbia is directly linked to Atlanta, GA; Richmond, VA; Jacksonville, FL; and Charlotte, NC, via these roadways. Greyhound/Trailways supplies inter-city bus service.

Traveling in the City

Columbia is an easily navigable city. While rush hour traffic is heavy on I-26 and other major thoroughfares, it most often moves steadily. The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (CMRTA) serves the heart of the Midlands, including Columbia, Cayce, West Columbia, Forest Acres, Arcadia Lakes, Springdale and the St. Andrews area. Its services include the trolleys in Downtown Columbia and the DART service (Dial-a-Ride Transit). Five taxi companies provide a fleet of more than 175 cabs.

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Columbia: Convention Facilities

Columbia: Convention Facilities

The newest jewel in the city's crown is the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center which opened in summer 2004 in the historic downtown Vista area. It features 120,000 square feet of space including a 25,000 square-foot exhibit hall, 18,000 square-foot ballroom, divisible meeting rooms, and a full banquet kitchen. Construction on the 222-bed Columbia Hilton convention center hotel was expected to begin in spring 2005. Columbia's Carolina Coliseum offers 60,000 square feet of exhibit space. The South Carolina State Fair Grounds accommodates up to 3,000 delegates in 100,000 square feet of space. The Township Auditorium has a stage and seats 3,224 people. Special services such as teleconferencing are available. The Columbiana Hotel & Conference Center offers 12 meeting rooms and an 11,000 square foot ballroom which accommodates up to 1,800 people for receptions or 1,200 people for banquets. Other area meeting facilities include Williams Brice Stadium, Koger Center for the Arts, and Jamil Temple. Saluda Shoals Park offers a secluded 5,200 square-foot state-of-the-art facility on the shores of the Saluda River, located minutes from downtown. Columbia provides choice accommodations with 7,000 rooms in a variety of hotels and motels.

Convention Information: Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 15, Columbia, SC 29202; telephone (803) 545-0000; toll-free (800)264-4884

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Columbia

Columbia

Columbia: Introduction
Columbia: Geography and Climate
Columbia: History
Columbia: Population Profile
Columbia: Municipal Government
Columbia: Economy
Columbia: Education and Research
Columbia: Health Care
Columbia: Recreation
Columbia: Convention Facilities
Columbia: Transportation
Columbia: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1819 (incorporated 1826)

Head Official: Mayor Darwin Hindman (NP) (since 1995)

City Population

1980: 62,061

1990: 69,101

2000: 84,531

2003 estimate: 90,947

Percent change,19902000: 18.25%

U.S. rank in 1980: 324th

U.S. rank in 1990: 331st (state rank: 6th)

U.S. rank in 2000: 339th (state rank: 6th)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 100,376

1990: 112,379

2000: 135,454

Percent change, 19902000: 20.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 282nd

U.S. rank in 1990: 288th

U.S. rank in 2000: 221st

Area: 58 square miles (2005)

Elevation: 889 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 53° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 39.43 inches of rain; 20.7 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: education, government, insurance, trade, services

Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (May 2005)

Per Capita Income: $27,991 (2003)

2002 Total FBI Crime Index: 3,837

Major Colleges and Universities: University of Missouri-Columbia, Stephens College, Columbia College

Daily Newspaper: Columbia Daily Tribune, Columbia Missourian

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Columbia: Geography and Climate

Columbia: Geography and Climate

Columbia is situated near the geographic center of South Carolina, midway between New York City and Miami. Set near the "fall line" dividing the South Carolina Piedmont and Coast Plains, the rolling hills surrounding the city slope from approximately 350 feet above sea level in the city's northernmost part to 200 feet above sea level in the southeast. The Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains northwest of the city often delay the approach of cold weather, and the winters are mild with the lowest temperatures extending from November to mid-March. Below-freezing temperatures are experienced during only one-third of the winter days. Nearly every year brings one day with a one-inch snowfall. Temperatures in spring range from March's occasional cold snap to warm, pleasant days in much of May. Long summers are the norm, and short-lived late afternoon thundershowers a common occurrence. Typically, there are about 6 days of over-100 degree weather in summer, but the heat is eased by frequent summer showers. Sunny days and lack of rain characterize Columbia's typically beautiful fall weather.

Area: 125 square miles (2000)

Elevation: ranges from 200 to 350 above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 44.7° F; July, 81.0° F; annual average, 65° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 50.14 inches

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Columbia

Columbia

Columbia: Introduction
Columbia: Geography and Climate
Columbia: History
Columbia: Population Profile
Columbia: Municipal Government
Columbia: Economy
Columbia: Education and Research
Columbia: Health Care
Columbia: Recreation
Columbia: Convention Facilities
Columbia: Transportation
Columbia: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1786 (chartered 1805)

Head Official: Mayor Bob Coble (D) (since 1990)

City Population

1980: 101,229

1990: 110,734

2000: 116,278

2003 estimate: 117,357

Percent change, 19902000: 1.6%

U.S. rank in 1990: 203rd

U.S. rank in 2000: 198th (State rank: 1st)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 410,000

1990: 454,000

2000: 536,691

Percent change, 19902000: 18.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 82nd

U.S. rank in 1990: 79th

U.S. rank in 2000: 79th

Area: 125 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Ranges from 200 to 350 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 65° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 50.14 inches

Major Economic Sectors: government, wholesale and retail trade, services

Unemployment rate: 4.9% (December 2004)

Per Capita Income: $18,853 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 10,307

Major Colleges and Universities: University of South Carolina, Benedict College, Columbia College

Daily Newspaper: The State

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Columbia: Geography and Climate

Columbia: Geography and Climate

Columbia is located halfway between St. Louis to the east and Kansas City to the west, with the state capital, Jefferson City, about 25 miles directly south. It is also halfway between Des Moines and Memphis. The city is set on gently rolling terrain where prairie meets forest. It has cold winters and warm, often humid summers. In winter the cold periods are often interrupted by a warm spell, and the temperature only drops below zero for a few days. Snows rarely last longer than a week, most commonly appearing in March. Freezing temperatures usually end after April first, and the first frost is generally in late October. Late spring and early summer are the rainiest seasons, and summertime temperatures sometimes reach above 100° F.

Area: 58 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 889 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 25.5° F; July, 79.1° F; annual average, 53°F

Annual Average Precipitation: 39.43 inches of rain; 20.7 inches of snow

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Columbia: Introduction

Columbia: Introduction

The capital city of South Carolina is a major industrial, cultural, and educational center located in the heart of a fertile farm region. The romance of the nineteenth century is writ large in the buildings and historical markers that grace its broad, tree-lined streets. Chosen as a compromise site for the interests of wealthy low country planters and fiercely independent small farmers and merchants from the hill country, this city located directly in the center of the state was specifically designed to serve as its seat of government. From the beautifully preserved antebellum architecture to the riverbanks and swamps to the State House with its battle-scarred walls and rich interiors, Columbia is an enchanting city. Columbia was ranked 2nd of "America's Most Livable Mid-Sized Communities" in 2005 by the national non-profit organization Partners for Livable Communities.

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Columbia: Transportation

Columbia: Transportation

Approaching the City

Columbia is located on Interstate 70, which runs east and west, and U. S. Highway 63, which runs north and south. It is twenty minutes away from U.S. 54 to the east, and the Missouri River to the west. Columbia Regional Airport offers four daily flights to St. Louis. Amtrak rail service is available to nearby Jefferson City, and Greyhound has daily bus service to St. Louis and Kansas City, all with connections to many other places.

Traveling in the City

Columbia's relatively flat streets are arranged in an easy grid pattern, with numbered streets running north and south. Columbia Area Transit (CAT) provides bus service in the city and the University of Missouri has its own shuttle, as does Columbia Regional Airport. Greyhound provides charter service and regularly scheduled trips out of the city.

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Columbia: Municipal Government

Columbia: Municipal Government

Columbia has a council-manager form of government, with a mayor and six council members elected by ward, who serve three-year terms. The mayor is also elected every three years as a council member at-large. This unpaid elected body directly supervises a city manager, city clerk, and three municipal judges.

Head Official: Mayor Darwin Hindman (NP) (since 1995; current term expires 2007)

Total Number of City Employees: 1,168 (2005)

City Information: City of Columbia, Daniel Boone Building, 701 East Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201; telephone (573)874-7111

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Columbia: Municipal Government

Columbia: Municipal Government

The city of Columbia has a mayor-council form of government. The mayor is elected at large and there are six council members, four elected from districts and two elected at large; all are elected to staggered four-year terms.

Head Official: Mayor Bob Coble (D) (since 1990; current term expires 2006)

Total Number of City Employees: 1,700 (2005)

City Information: Columbia City Hall, 1737 Main Street, PO Box 147, Columbia, SC 29217; telephone (803)545-3000

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Columbia: Introduction

Columbia: Introduction

Known as "College Town U.S.A.," Columbia is the seat of Boone County in central Missouri, about midway between Kansas City and St. Louis. This fast-growing city offers a top rated school system, fine health care facilities, cultural opportunities, a low cost of living, and a clean environment. Columbia, with its highly educated populace, consistently ranks among the best places to live in the United States.

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Columbia: Convention Facilities

Columbia: Convention Facilities

There are 34 hotels and motels in and around Columbia with more than 3,500 rooms. The largest facilities for conventions and exhibitions are at Boone County Fairgrounds with 107,300 square feet, the Hearnes Center with 70,000 square feet, the Midway Expo Center with 66,000 square feet, and the Holiday Inn Executive Center with 20,000 feet.

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Columbia

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