Voters to decide on $109 million bond referendum for new high school

LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Laurens County voters will decide on a $109 million bond referendum in May.

After more than 40 years, Laurens County School District 55 may be on its way to a brand new high school.

“Our facilities are outdated,” said Superintendent Dr. Stephen Peters. “Times are changing and with those changes school districts have to change.” He says there’s no other way to fund the new school besides the bond referendum, unanimously by the school board this week.

“These are tough times for some people and while we realize that,” said Dr. Peters. “I think that if we want industry to come in to our county, we’ll need strong economic development.”

The bond would also allow for miscellaneous improvements at other facilities in the district. The new school would also come with new athletic facilities, and the current facility could be used by middle school students.

“We feel that one of the ideas that we’re going to pose as question to our parents would be what about consolidating our middle schools and using that facility because it’s already separate,” said Dr. Peters.

As for the new facility the increase in taxes to build it depends on a residents’ property value.

“Between $50,000 and $75,000 valuation on a home, our taxpayers would pay less than 50 cents increase a day,” said Dr. Peters. “Our children not only need this, our children deserve this.”

James Pinson says while he supports a new high school, he has hesitation for supporting this plan.

“First thoughts were where are they going to locate the new high school and second about the economic effects it would have on each family,” said Pinson, who’s also a parent in the district. “If you have individuals that own property or multiple properties, it’s going to be a lot more than 50 cents per day.”

Dr. Peters says they will be meeting with parents about the referendum to discuss topics like location. The bond would also allow for miscellaneous improvements at other facilities in the district. It goes before voters on May 9th.

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