SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - There's a new campaign in Dorchester County to get you to support a property tax increase. A group of citizens is asking for the public's support to build new schools in Dorchester District Two School District.
"I want them to vote for the referendum. That's the only we can make sure our kids have a good environment to learn," voter Christine LaRue said.
DD2 school officials want three elementary schools, one middle school and aquatic center, vocational classrooms, and several renovations. They need $179-million dollars to get the work done.
"We need to do this. Unfortunately, this is the only funding mechanism available to the school district to get it done," Robby Robbins said.
Robbins co-chairs the "Yes 4 Schools" campaign, which supports the "School Improvement Referendum."
He says overcrowding is the major problem. District-wide, 3500 students take classes in trailers, some are forced to use lobbies or hallways, and at some schools lunch starts before 10 a.m. and lasts until almost 2 p.m.
"If you do not support that school district, the overall quality of life disintegrates in Summerville. If you do not believe that you can go look at a number of different places in South Carolina where they don't have a good school district," Robbins said.
The tax hike means someone who owns a $100,000 home would pay an additional $68-dollar each year. "Living is expensive. We're already in debt. He's not even two. His debt is already accumulating, not cool. Doctors bills, hospital bills. Electricity is even going up in Dorchester County," Brandy Keller said.
The exact locations of these schools have not been determined.
The Yes 4 Schools campaign is having a planning meeting Wednesday night at Summerville Town Council Chambers. That meeting is open to the public.
Berkeley County residents are also spearheading a campaign for public support for their school district. BCSD has proposed a $198 million dollar referendum to build five new schools and renovations at 29 other schools district wide.