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Trustees approve new round of projects

Posted: November 18, 2010 5:19 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2010 5:00 a.m.

With as much as $8 million remaining from bond sources, the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees unanimously approved several school construction projects during its Tuesday meeting.

Included in the list of approved items were: the replacement of the welding shop ventilation at the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC); the purchase of a store-front intruder prevention entrance at Baron DeKalb Elementary School (BDK); and science lab tables at North Central and Leslie M. Stover middle schools.

Trustees Andy James and Sherri Brosius were not present.

“Everything that was approved was no-brainers. They were things that we have to have to continue instruction,” Board Chairman Joey Dorton said Wednesday. “The intruder prevention entrance is a child safety issue, and that comes before anything else. We looked at things that would continue programs or were related to child safety.”

Currently, the board has approximately $4 million worth of Installment Purchase Plan (IPP) funds left to use on potential projects.

Coupled with an additional $4 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCAB) funding, the board will be able to complete up to $8 million in construction, renovation and replacement projects in the school district.

The cost of replacing the ventilation system at ATEC is estimated to cost $150,000 and the purchase of the intruder prevention entrance at BDK is expected to cost $12,000.

In response to a question regarding which area has received the most IPP funding, Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Director of Operations Billy Smith said the Camden area has received $52 million in IPP funding, whereas the West Wateree area has received $34.3 million and the North Central area has received $16.3 million.

“At North Central, using today’s attendance numbers, it would be $9,766 per student -- and that’s 1,669 students in the North Central area. West Wateree area is 5,319 students for $6,449 per student,” Smith said. “Camden area … 3,345 students comes out to $15,546 per student.”

 “Jackson (School) probably pushed that Camden total up significantly,” Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan added.

As the board discussed each potential project on the list, Smith placed stars next to the projects that were imperative to complete.

In addition to the approved construction items, Smith said it was important the board consider replacing the HVAC systems at Lugoff-Elgin and Camden high schools, as he wasn’t sure how much longer those systems would last.

KCSD Chief Financial Officer Donnie Wilson estimated replacing the HVAC systems at the two high schools could see a significant amount of savings in operational costs.

During the meeting, the board discussed each of the remaining 32 potential construction projects, which ranged from replacing or renovating Bethune, Mount Pisgah, BDK and Camden elementary schools to replacing mobiles with additional classrooms at North Central Middle and Lugoff Elementary schools.

Additionally, Morgan said the board could also look at replacing the stadium lighting at North Central and Lugoff-Elgin high schools which could also result in a reduction in operating.

During the board’s next meeting, Morgan said the trustees will prioritize the list of remaining IPP projects.

In order to meet the Dec. 31 deadline to use the $4 million of QSCAB funding, Wilson said the board will need to approve a list of construction projects during the board’s next meeting.

In other news, the board unanimously approved the use of the old Lugoff-Elgin Middle School as an annex for Lugoff-Elgin High.

The annex, which will be used for upperclassmen students enrolled in upper level science and math courses, will use approximately $600,000 in remaining Phase I IPP funds to make upgrades. Included in the renovations are replacement of HVAC systems and some modifications to the electrical systems to accommodate the new HVAC units.

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