BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - By May of next year, Stratford High School will have 12 new classrooms. The cafeteria will be able to seat almost 700 students. The principal says students will also enjoy state-of-the-art culinary arts and sports medicine labs.
"Having our kids prepared for college and career-readiness is such a big thing, and what we're hearing from our community is they really need those vocational-type skills, those people skills," says Principal Heather Taylor.
The $6.9 million plan is part of the school improvement referendum Berkeley county voters passed in 2012.
"I think a lot of it is possibly the age of the school, trying to update it to today's standards and security issues or just to accommodate the growth in the community," says Bonieta Tavares, a parent.
With roughly 25 to 26 students per teacher some parents hope more space will call for smaller classes.
"What I would like to see is anything that could help improve teacher-to-student ratio," says Stephen Bishop, whose daughter is a sophomore. "I think that's probably one of our bigger downfalls.
School officials say after months of discussion, they felt this was the best use for the funds.
"Whether it be that they're going to go into a vocational setting, whether it be that they're going into a two-year, military, two-year, whatever it may be, that is our job to prepare our kids the best that we can," says Taylor.