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« Girl Faces Expulsion Over Pepper Spray | Main | 2 New Schools In Cottageville? »

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Comments

Swampfox

I have read everything on the net, all the newspapers etc. But I still can't see the need for a new High School to replace the current school which is only 20 years old!
As I travel throughout the country in most areas a 20 year old school would be considered just broken in.
We were told the school on Hampton St. was about to fall in, so they built a new school. Funny how it is good enough to house a branch university.
Now we need a new school to "showcase" Colleton County for industrial development that may or may not come.
While I applaud our elected officials in trying to bring economic development to Colleton the bottom line is we are competing with many other communities for the same few businesses, and in the last 20 years very little has come of the efforts.
While I will agree with the school district that some building is needed, particularly at the middle schools this was a problem of the making of the school district.
So now they are asking every man, woman and child to make up for this with a $90,000,000.00 initiative that will cost every resident of this county $2500.00 each. That figure doesn't cover the financing costs?
So over the next few years what will the actual costs to the citizens of Colleton be?
My father always taught me to look at what I wanted and put them into two categories, wants and needs. Buy the needs with the dollars you have, if you have any left over then consider the wants.
Do we really want a new high school, or do we need a new school?
I would love someone on the school board or even Mr. Gale please explain what is truly needed, and how to address those needs. Not what is wanted.

ASBCooper

They aren't asking every man, woman, and child...just those of us who own real estate, which is worse in my opinion.

RachelFarris

Swampfox-you can reach Mr. Gale at 549-5114. I know he would be happy to explain our county school needs. And it's not just a high school but also a new stadium/sports facility.
ASBCooper-You are right about that! Our entire tax system is crazy. Some of us that own something are poorer than those who don't! I sometimes dream about selling the little bit I own, renting a travel trailer, and parking it on a rented piece of dirt maintained by the owner! Ahhhh that's the life!!!

ColletonRanger

I applaud the school board for adressing school needs but I don't understand why we need a new highschool when our elementary and middle schools are absolute dumps. When folks are looking to locate industry and jobs here you take them by Black Street, Forest Hills Elementary, or Colleton Middle the recruiting trip is over. That is where our problems lie. You put our young children in elementary and middle schools that are falling apart and expect to make it up when they get to high school? Excuse but you most likely have lost your chance by then with alot of them..

I certainly think the reasoning for some grand new high school is flawed. You need to be building new Elementary and Middle schools!

RachelFarris

ColletonRanger--I am so very glad you "applaud the school board for adressing school needs". The board rarely hears or reads anything resembeling praise. You seem to REALLY want to understand what's happening so perhaps I can help a little or at least point you in the right direction for more details. As you probably already know, two new elementary schools have been built in the last 8 or so years, Northside Elem. and then Hendersonville Elem. The "Facilities Plan" calls for a new Elem. School in Cottageville to be completed within the next year (if the lawsuit doesn't hold it up. If the lawsuit is successfull it is likely to be 5 years). The current High School would be converted to a middle school, we would no longer use as middle schools--Colleton Middle and Forest Circle Middle, Forest Circle would become an elementary school. Forest Hills Elementary would become the 3&4 yr old preschool with NO waiting list like now. A new high school would be built and in the same location a new stadium and complete sports facility-football, baseball,softball soccer,swimming pool for aquatic sports-all on the same property. Improvements and repairs for remaining older schools.
That is the gist of it. I am sure I have left something out but you can go to the district website, http://www.colleton.k12.sc.us/, and on the left side of the page, scroll down until you see "facilities plan" and click on it. Click on the different links and most of your questions will be answered, if not, call Mr. Gale at 549-5114. I hope I've helped some. You can also reach me or other board members by again using the website to retrieve phone numbers, email addresses and "snail mail" addresses! I shouldn't write "snail mail" as my mom was a postmaster and insists it only takes a day for a letter--Round O to Walterboro etc.

RachelFarris

ColletonRanger--I forgot--all of the above would be COMPLETED in 5 years and we will be where we should have been a long,long time ago. Everything of course depends on whether or not there are any postponments and if there are no political maneuverings to completely "delete" the plan. I have never experienced the kind of "politics" going on now. Pretty awful.

ColletonRanger

I know what the plan calls for you, would have to live under a rock not to. Have you been in either of the Forest Hills schools?? Those schools are the ones that should be replaced, upfitting those would be a nightmare and money pit. I could care less whether we have a 5 million dollar sports complex when all you are trying to do is put a fresh coat of paint on schools that obviously outlived there usefullness. Those schools need to be bulldozed. And I assure you that for the small amounts of money you have budgeted to upfit these old schools a coat of paint is about all you will get. This top down approach befuddles me. You could up fit the current highschool and still have a nice facility, you upfit these others and you still will have a poor facility with fresh coat of paint. It is shamefull that our kids have to spend a day in these rattraps and all you folks can think about is a taj-mahal highschool. Again I think addressing building needs is the right thing to do, but address the real problems.

As to the "bad politics" this situation has been whoefully mishandled. You are looking at a School superintendant, a school board, a economic development board and a economic development director who are are in serious jeopordy of losing their positions because they did not lay the proper ground work or do their home work.

ConcernedColletonian

Ranger's comments are spot-on, right down the line. There is no doubt that this county needs school improvement across the board but the Forest Hills schools are nothing less than a disgrace and a blight on our landscape. Sadly, I have about as much faith in the school board doing the right thing as I do in Congress spending less money than they take from taxpayers.

As for the economoic development board (and director), I don't see where they have done anything for the county, other than lure a couple of penny ante businesses into the old industrial park while us taxpaying citizens have poured millions into the Colleton Commerce Center on exit 62, which is doing nothing but grow weeds. To make it even worse, the bozos around here act like they have done something because "we came close" to getting Google. That is a loser's mentality and precisely why we are lagging behind the counties that are around us.

The simple fact is that poor leadership in the past has doomed this county to our present mediocrity.....perhaps we will see some change after next month's election. A good first step would be getting rid of Rep. Bowers and replacing him with Dr. Joe Flowers, a man of integrity with a vested interest in improving the county.....and who is actually a Colletonian. We need a resident legislator in the worst possible way.

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