Darlington County parents hear update on plans for new schools

Parents in Darlington County got an update Tuesday evening on plans for three new schools using a $60 million bond.

HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – Parents in Darlington County got an update Tuesday evening on plans for three new schools using a $60 million bond.

“I’m thrilled the county is going to be building new schools,” said Amanda Thompson.

Thompson has two children in Darlington County Schools, and said she’s all for the plan to consolidate two schools in Hartsville and put them together under a new roof.

“It’s sort of crazy to be at two separate schools,” Thompson explained. “So I’m just thrilled they’re gonna bring these two schools together.”

Parents and concerned citizens filled the auditorium at the Butler School as architects and district officials updated them on where the project stands.

The priority now: choosing a site that works for all students and parents, while meeting the demands of other 21st-century schools now under construction.

“We got a lot of input from the community tonight about what their dream school would look like,” said Dale Collier, president of Brownstone Construction Group, the company tasked with building the new schools. “Most of their suggestions were in line with what we have planned for this district.”

Parents spent much of the meeting listing qualities and services they want out of their new school.

“Cafeterias, media centers, there’s been a lot of discussion about technology, but a lot of the discussion is about security as well,” Collier said.

This was the second meeting of six hosted by the school district this week, hoping to ensure the needs of each neighborhood are heard.

“Hartsville is an area of Darlington County that is unique,” Collier explained. “So we want to make sure the school fits in with the general area and that it fits in with the community.”

District officials said they hope to have sites picked for the three new schools by the end of this calendar year.