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School board to discuss referendum language
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The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees will continue discussions on language for a proposed Phase 2 facilities equalization referendum during its meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening.

Discussion of the referendum language began at the board’s June 17 meeting and continued at its June 24 finance/facilities meeting. An attorney assisting with the development of referendum language attended the second of those meetings. The attorney advised the board and district that, because the General Assembly recently passed legislation allowing citizens to vote on 1-cent sales taxes for capital construction projects for school districts, two questions should be formulated.

The administration’s recommendation for Tuesday is for the board to discuss, and possibly adopt, language for the Phase 2 referendum.

The first question on the proposed sales tax itself includes language that would impose the tax for a period of 15 calendar years and that it only be used to pay -- directly or indirectly -- for capital improvements listed in the referendum. These include a new joint use facility for the Applied Technology Education Campus and Central Carolina Technical College; new facilities for Camden, Lugoff, North Central and Wateree elementary schools; and improvements to Camden High School, North Central high and middle schools, Lugoff-Elgin High School and Stover Middle School.

In addition, all revenue received by the school district from the tax would be used to reduce property taxes needed to pay the debt service school district bonds and directly pay the costs of the capital improvement projects.

The second question refers to the amount of the bond and more specific information about the projects. It states that the general obligation bond would not exceed $130 million. The project list in this question spells out that a new Camden Elementary School would be built on the site of the former Camden Middle School on Laurens Street; that improvements to Camden High School would include constructing a new football stadium on district-owned property to replace Zemp Stadium; that a new North Central elementary school would be a consolidated facility replacing Baron DeKalb, Bethune and Mt. Pisgah elementary schools adjacent to North Central Middle School; and other improvements to be made at other schools on the list.

Other items for Tuesday’s meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the district boardroom at 2029 West DeKalb St. in Camden, include a report on scholarships earned by the graduating classes of 2014; and a facilities rental request by CrossPoint Church to rent space at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School in order to hold services while awaiting construction of a new church in early 2015.