FSD1 facilities committee proposed $266M bond to rebuild or renovate outdated schools

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – If you live within Florence District One you could be paying more on your taxes because the facility committee wants to rebuild and renovate new schools.

The facilities committee is proposing a $266 million dollar bond to rebuild 5 new schools and renovate 8.

Doris Myers is a parent of two Florence School District One students. She says new schools are needed.

“I think that would be an awesome idea,” said Myers. “My daughter and son attended McLaurin Elementary they are overcrowded.”

Chairman Barry Townsend says West Florence High School is another example of overcrowding. The school has 1,800 students more than 300 students the school has capacity for.

Townsend said a $266 million dollar bond referendum will build five new schools.

  • Williams Middle School—$33m
  • Savannah Grove Elementary– $22m
  • West Florence High School– $88m
  • Briggs Elementary– $17m
  • Timrod/Wallace Greg Elementary (will be combined) $22m

The bond will renovate 11 school facilities.

  • Wilson high School– $17m
  • South Florence High School—15m
  • Dewey Carter Elementary– $5m
  • McLaurin Elementary– $7m
  • Greenwood Elementary– $6m
  • Lester Elementary $4m
  • Sneed Middle School–$6m
  • Carver Elementary– $4m
  • Career Center– $13m
  • Rush– $2m
  • Child Development Center—$2.5m
  • Technology — $2.5

The goal is to hard wire all schools with technology and give each student a digital device.

“It [the bond referendum] benefits every student, in every school. In every community,” said Townsend.

Townsend admits the price tag is high.

“It’s a substantial number. It is that size because of the of schools that we have to address that weren’t addressed in the previous 20 years,” said Townsend.

To pay for the schools the committee is proposing a bond referendum that will increase property taxes.

For example: if you own a $100 thousand dollar home about 180 dollars will be added to your yearly taxes.

Owner – property value:

$50k= annual $90= monthly $7.50

$100k= annual $180= monthly $15.00

$150= annual $270= monthly $22.50

$200= annual $360= monthly $30

Myers understands this is a lot of money but believes the bond should be passed.

“If taxes go up to assist the children, so they can get new technology, more classrooms, and more teachers into those classrooms. I’m all for it, I’m willing to pay,” Myers said.

The school board will learn more about the proposal at a work session that has not been scheduled yet.

Then the board will have the 1st reading of the proposal at the next board meeting in July.