Higher Education

Clemson Garrison Expo Center

Garrison Expo Center

Clemson University

Clemson, SC


Garrison Expo Center is the newest addition to Clemson University’s T. Ed Garrison Livestock Campus. It sits prominently on the northwest corner of the site as a little brother to the Main Arena. Together with the arena, livestock barns, and cattle sales building, the Expo Center provides space for a variety of events and activities to include athletic camps and agriculture shows.

This project had several major goals. It needed to achieve the maximum square footage possible within the budget, integrate the building with the design of the existing buildings on site, and create a new face for the Garrison campus. Constructing the building in tilt-up concrete enabled the design team to achieve double Clemson’s requested square footage. The clear span 33,000 sf expo space has a 25-foot-tall clear height to offer maximum flexibility. A concession kitchen and generous bathrooms are strategically placed to serve both indoor and outdoor events. Equipment storage space includes 10,500 sf on the first floor and 22,200 sf on the mezzanine. Tilt-up concrete construction also affords the Expo Center thermal massing for more efficient HVAC operation.

Though no other buildings on site employed this construction method, the design team found creative ways to integrate the building’s design into the aesthetic of the campus. Architectural texturing across elevations and custom canopies at entry points make the building compatible with its context. A custom-designed canopy creates a new face for the Garrison campus and welcomes guests on the western approach. It also provides a covered drop-off area. Four roll-up doors provide easy access for event vendors. Building orientation and entry placement anticipate future development of an adjacent Conference Center.

The project earned the 2 Green Globes certification for sustainable design.

Photography by Upstate Aerial. 

Green Globes certification
square feet
total project cost
image of Clemson Garrison Expo mezzanine