DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Renovating St. John’s Elementary School in Darlington County is not feasible, the board of education said.

The potential merger of St. John’s and Rosenwald elementary schools was a topic of conversation at Monday evening’s Darlington County Board of Education meeting.

Members of the public voiced their concerns about the future of the schools and student needs. St. John’s was founded in 1818, and residents want to preserve its history. 

However, District 7 board member Wanda Hassler said renovating St. John’s Elementary is not a viable option.

“Renovation of St. John’s as an elementary school is not on the table,” Hassler said. “It is cost-prohibitive. We’ve got so many needs — facility needs — in this district that we do not have the funds to renovate that school.”

Board members did not make any decisions on the potential merger at Monday night’s meeting. That decision could be several months away.

The buildings will be maintained, but this will cost a lot of money.

In the meantime, Superintendent Tim Newman said the district will maintain the buildings to keep students safe. He previously said it would cost about $5 million a year to maintain the two schools compared with about $3 million a year to maintain a newer facility with a similar number of students.