Now that Dorchester District 2 voters have said “Yes 4 Schools,” the school board has to figure out where to start spending the $180 million on new schools and renovations.
“We are putting together a plan,” said District Superintendent Joe Pye. “Where are we going? What are the decisions we have to make? Which projects need to get out of the ground now?”
The board will have a workshop at 4:30 p.m. Monday to figure out the next step.
It passed a resolution Monday night to make the referendum results official. On Nov. 6, voters approved the bonds by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin.
It’s the first time District 2 voters have approved a general obligation bond in a referendum since March 1995. The bonds will fund three new elementary schools, a new middle school of the arts, and renovations at 10 other schools.
Voters approved an additional $7.5 million for an aquatics facility that will be a joint venture of the school district and the Summerville Family YMCA. That narrowly passed 51 percent to 49 percent. The bonds will raise taxes on a $150,000 house by $102 annually plus another $3 for the aquatic center.
Pye said he hopes to keep the money in the Lowcountry.
“We can’t make people use local labor, but we certainly can steer people in that direction and we can make that one of our goals,” he said. “We want it spent in Dorchester County first; second, the tri-county region; third, South Carolina, and we’re not going to spend anything beyond that. We hope we can give that money back to the community, so in the end, it will be a gain.”