Dorchester District 2 voters will decide if they want to give the district money to ease overcrowding and renovate buildings officials have said are outdated.
Dorchester 2 Questions
Question 1Shall the Board of Trustees of School District No. 2 of Dorchester County, South Carolina, be authorized to issue and sell, either at one time as a single issue or from time to time as several separate issues, general obligation bonds of School District No. 2 of Dorchester County in the aggregate principal amount of not exceeding $179,910,000, the proceeds of which shall be applied to defray costs of issuance of such bonds and the costs of:a. the design, construction, equipping and furnishing of three elementary schools and a middle school of the arts;b. renovations, repairs, expansions, equipment and furnishings at Eagle Nest Elementary, Flowertown Elementary, Newington Elementary, Oakbrook Elementary, Summerville Elementary, Alston Middle, Oakbrook Middle, Ashley Ridge High School, Fort Dorchester High School and Summerville High School; andc. capital improvements at other facilities of the School District to include conversion of Middle School to office/administrative space, roof repairs, improvements to heating, ventilation and air conditioning and installing wireless throughout the School DistrictIn favor of the question [ ] Opposed to the question [ ]Question 2In the event that “Question 1” above is approved, shall the Board of Trustees of School District No. 2 of Dorchester County, South Carolina, be further authorized to issue and sell, either at one time as a single issue or from time to time as several separate issues, general obligation bonds of School District No. 2 of Dorchester County in the aggregate principal amount of not exceeding $7,500,000, the proceeds of which shall be applied to defray costs of issuance of such bonds and the costs of designing, constructing, equipping and furnishing an aquatic center?In favor of the question [ ]Opposed to the question [ ]
The $179.9 million bond referendum, known as the Yes 4 Schools campaign, will determine if the district gets the money to build four new schools and improve several others.
What it will pay for
Proposed projects include Three elementary schools and middle school of artsRenovations: Eagle Nest Elementary, Flowertown Elementary, Newington Elementary, Oakbrook Elementary, Summerville Elementary, Alston Middle, Oakbrook Middle, Ashley Ridge High, Fort Dorchester High, Summerville HighCapital improvements at other facilities to include conversion of Rollings Middle School of the Arts to office/administrative space, roof repairs, improvements to heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and installing wireless throughout the district
A second question asks for an additional $7.5 million to build an aquatics facility.
The primary Yes 4 Schools campaign supports the $179.9 million general obligation bonds for the school projects.
That would raise the taxes on a $150,000 house by $102 annually to pay for four new schools and renovations to several others.
In addition, Rollings Middle School of the Arts would be renovated into district offices and the current district office building would be renovated into additional classroom space for Summerville High School.
Rollings, which was built in 1925, and Knightsville Elementary, built in 1938, are two of the oldest school buildings in the state.
“We have children going to schools that other districts would tear down,” said Superintendent Joe Pye.
“We’ve been very prudent and efficient, but we’ve run out of ideas and now we have no choice but to go to the public and ask for help.”
Voters have not approved a bond referendum for District 2 since passing a $25.5 million vote in March 1995 to renovate Summerville High School and turn the Gregg campus into a middle school.
A $98 million referendum in March 2003 failed, and in March 2009 the board shelved a $165 million bond referendum, fearing a lack of support.
Most of the vocal opposition this year has come from people who oppose the tax increase.
“I don’t have any children in the schools,” said Peggy Janson of Summerville. “I’m retired and on a fixed income. I understand the schools may need improvements, but I’d prefer if they’d find another way to pay for them instead of raising my taxes.”
Voters also will be asked if they want to approve an aquatics facility, which would be a joint venture of the school district and the Summerville Family YMCA.
It includes a 25-yard-by-25-meter pool, a second pool with three lap lanes and a “fun pool,” locker rooms, offices, a community room and seating for 700 spectators.
It would tack on an additional $3 in taxes annually.
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