HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Schools is working to figure out where they need to build additional schools in the county to accommodate the hundreds of new students that enroll every year.

District spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said they are currently in the process of designing two schools in the Carolina Forest area.

Currently, more than 20% of the entire student population resides within the Carolina Forest cluster schools, according to Bourcier.

”We are fortunate to have a penny sales tax for education, and that is what we’ve been paying capital needs through,” she said. “So that is where you are seeing all the additional schools that have been needed. Over the years, we have built nine since 2008 to accommodate growth.”

The district is doing a facility index study, which will allow them to count all of their buildings and systems to see what their needs are for the next five to ten years. They will look at age and growth within the student population.

“There certainly growing pains with growth and we have seen that here community wide for the last 10 plus years and we don’t see the growth slowing down anytime soon,” Bourcier said. “There are some growing pains, and you need to make sure that we are still able to provide those services for our students.”

There will be a public hearing on Monday for the 2022-2023 Horry County Superintendent`s comprehensive budget. The proposed budget is around $890 million, which is $124 million more than the 2021-2022 school year’s budget. 

It includes a salary increase for school employees. The district wants to add additional travel nurses, rehabilitative behavioral counselors due to caseloads increasing and six ESL teachers for students whose second language is English. Bourcier said 86% of the budget is dedicated to employee compensation, salary, and benefits. 

Bourcier said the district has a balanced budget and no tax increase will be required.