HORRY COUNTY S.C. (WBTW) — A plan has been set in motion to build and rebuild a total of four schools in Horry County in the coming years.
Two new schools are expected to be built in the Carolina Forest area with bids for the projects expected to be completed in 2024. St. James Elementary and South Conway Elementary schools are expected to be rebuilt.
Lisa Bourcier, spokesperson for Horry County Schools, said the new schools are needed because of the consistent growth the county is experiencing. The two existing schools are being redone because of their age and growth in the region.
“St. James elementary school is about 107% capacity at this point,” Bourcier said. “We have seen tremendous growth. Over 20% of our student body live within the Carolina Forest attendance area.”
One elementary school is planned to be on a plot of land on Carolina Forest Boulevard and Stafford Drive East. The other will be built on land on Ronald McNair Boulevard and Christa McAuliffe Street in the Forestbrook area.
The new schools will be two-story buildings because of the cost.
“It’s cheaper to build up,” Bourcier said.
The money to pay for the beginning part of these projects is being paid by the current penny sales tax.
“We’ve already allocated money for those design fees which is about 4 to $5 million for that, but, of course, that’s just the beginning part of it, that’s not the hard construction cost,” Bourcier said. “Once we get the bidding documents back we’ll know the full cost of the project.”
The penny tax is said to be important for the future of schools in the area.
“It helps pay for all of our renovations and additions to current schools, parent loop roads, it also pays for our technology,” Bourcier said. “We also use the penny sales tax to acquire land acquisitions for our facilities.”
Details of the plans can be found in the meeting minutes.