SUMMERVILLE, SC – Thursday night, a meeting was held in Summerville to update Dorchester District Two board members and parents on the Capital Improvements Program for schools in the district.
With enrollment way up in Dorchester District Two, and thousands of additional students expected to move to the district in the next few years, school officials are working on building new schools and renovating others. But renovations at some schools are having some issues.
Shayla Toliver has four children in Dorchester District Two and one of them goes to Dubose Middle School. That school has needed new air conditioning units for almost a decade.
Toliver said, “I think there might be some concerns when the weather gets hot.”
Thursday night, the capital improvements facilitator for the district, Robert Folkman, said they’re expecting to get new HVAC units this summer; and told parents like Toliver and DD2 board members not to worry.
“Whatever it’s going to cost whatever it’s going to be worth it and we will make it happen,” said Superintendent of DD2, Joseph Pye.
Back in 2012, voters approved a $179 million dollar bond referendum, which is paying for new schools and renovations to current buildings. Officials say some of the projects are behind schedule
In Summerville, the high school’s new roof was supposed to be completed at the start of the school year.
“It’s really affecting the functioning of the school,” explained Pye, who also says the new roof leaks and is seven months behind schedule. “I mean, it’s been like a waterfall in some places. I’ve witnessed it myself! It’s been quite an inconvenience for us.”
Officials say right now they’re asking the contractor to address the issues with the roof; but board members say they are prepared to initiate a claim for performance if necessary.
Other issues include bids coming in way too high for the new Alston-Bailey Elementary School baseball fields.
Right now a $1.3 million dollar field is proposed.
But board members are considering getting rid of some proposed parking, the concession stand, and bathrooms to save over half a million dollars on the project.
Board members say they will hold a community meeting to discuss any proposed changes to the field, before any decisions are made.
Toliver told News 2, “It sounded really encouraging. It sounded like they’re going to get things taken care of so I’m excited about that.”
Three new elementary schools, each with a capacity of 1,000 students, are expected to open next year. The schools are Alston Bailey Elementary on West 5th North Street, Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary on Miles-Jameson Road, and Sand Hill Elementary off U.S. Highway 61.
Of the $179 million to start, officials say right now they only have a $9.6 million surplus.
An additional $2.6 million is being held for construction contingencies for active projects.