Opening date pushed back for new DD2 schools, new projected start in 2016

Opening date pushed back for new DD2 schools, new projected start in 2016

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Officials in Dorchester District 2 schools are hoping for the best.

Plans to open four new schools at the start of the 2015-2016 school year have now been pushed back at least six months.  District officials say even that timeline could change.

Sandhill Elementary, The Middle School of the Arts, Alston-Bailey, and Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary are all impacted by the delay.  Collectively, the four schools are expected to serve 1.750 students in DD2.

District spokeswoman Pat Raynor said the project timeline was re-adjusted, after hearing from capital improvements facilitator Bob Folkman, in a board meeting Monday.

Among the setbacks were rainy weather, which made some sites impassable for weeks, permit issues, and initial site plans that didn't work out.

Raynor said district officials are looking to January 2016 as its new start date, barring any further delays due to weather or permits.

DD2 officials are waiting on a permit for Alston-Bailey Elementary, which will come from the Office of School Facilities in Columbia.

Officials are also starting the process of re-allocating attendance lines, which have also been impacted by the delay.

Raynor said quality construction and student and staff safety remain the district's top priority.

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