DD2 finalizing school construction, aquatic center plans

VIDEO: Updates on DD2 school construction and aquatic center project

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Tuesday night in Summerville, the Dorchester District 2 community received some updates on development projects in the school district. Four schools are currently being developed and the district is still trying to finalize a plan for the construction of an aquatic facility.

At this meeting, the Yes 4 Schools Public Advisory Committee met and discussed these projects in detail. The school construction is still in the beginning phases of development. As for the aquatic center, it was given the green light 3 years ago, but there's still no date on when the district will break ground.

"I think it's going to be great. We are desperately in need of some new schools in our area," said Christine LaRue, Vice Chair for the Yes 4 Schools Committee in Dorchester District 2.

Parents and committee members like Christine LaRue say it's about time area schools see some improvement. 

"Working in closets and small book rooms and things. That's where the learning is taking place right now," said LaRue.

School Board members say the district is overcrowded and the enrollment is increasing every year. If all goes to plan, by August of 2016, the schools should be open, and classrooms should be less packed. 

"These new schools provide an opportunity to give our students the optimum learning," said School Board Member Brian Mitchum. 

New schools were not the only topic on Tuesday's agenda. The board updated committee members on the $7.5 million aquatic center that's been in the works for the district. The district hopes to have a partner to operate and manage the center by the end of February.

The aquatic center was approved by voters in 2012, and is expected to include swimming programs for second and third graders. Programs that parents and board members say are much needed. 

"Teaching kids how to swim is a life long skill that they will take with them for the rest of their life," said Mitchum.

"What to do if there is an emergency or one of their friends fall in the water. All of that is part of pool safety and they need to make sure they understand how that works," said LaRue.

Board members have high hopes the aquatic center will help bring more money into the area.

"These type of aquatic centers host tournaments, state and region wide, and that brings in out of town money. Folks stay in hotels, they eat in your restaurants and they shop," said Mitchum. 

The district says they will choose a partner for the aquatic facility based on certain qualifications and how they fall in line with district standards. When and where the center will be built is still up in the air.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.