Charleston embarks on $500 million, 5-5year new school construction plan

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ABC News4 reported some 30 schools across Charleston County will be getting major makeovers thanks to a school construction plan funded by a one percent sales tax passed last November.

“A key part is, as that revenue comes in over the next six years, we are trying to pace our cash requirements to stay within those revenue projections so we can execute this plan,” explained Bill Lewis, Chief Operating Officer of Capital Programs with the Charleston County School District.

The half-billion dollar plan was approved to move forward Monday, January 24 by the Board of Trustees of the Charleston County School District. Construction will be completed in seven phases over the next five years. The first phase is expected to be done by the summer of 2013. The construction will begin first in downtown Charleston at seismically at-risk schools like Buist Academy later in the spring.

Lewis says that students will be relocated while their schools are work sites. “We’ll move people to an alternative campus while we redevelop the schools,” Lewis said. Lewis hopes the construction projects will pay off in the classroom.

“Improving the achievement gap for everyone, improving high school graduation and improving student achievement for everyone. We feel these schools are integral to all of those goals,” Lewis said. Some say there may be better ways to reach those goals

The first wave of schools will be reopened after construction is finished during the summer of 2013. Read More.

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