Dorchester District 2: Three elementary schools on track for fall opening

Dorchester District 2: Three elementary schools on track for fall opening

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - After a year and a half of construction, Dorchester County residents will soon see three new elementary schools in action.

"We're real anxious about opening these schools in August and not being delayed," Superintendent Joseph Pye said. "It's very important because
we have about 3,000 students that are being moved about in the district. it's very important we do this in a timely and efficient manner."

Voters in Dorchester County approved a $179 million referendum in 2012 to ease school overcrowding.

The project included construction of three new elementary schools: Alston-Bailey Elementary on U.S. Highway 78; Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary on Miles Road; and Sand Hill Elementary which will share a campus at the planned Rollings Middle School of the Arts on Highway 61 and Summers Drive.

Each elementary school will hold around one thousand students.

Dorchester County District Two leaders toured the three school sites on Thursday. Each elementary school is slated for an Aug. 2016 opening.

"I know they're going to fall in love with it," Pye said. "They're going love the media center, the music rooms, the labs. We have five labs in each of the three schools."

"It's just exciting for it to come together after years of planning, looking at the numbers," board chair Lisa Tupper said. "To see it from black and white to brick and mortar."
Tupper also said she's excited to have more room for students who've had to deal with crowded classrooms.
The district passed plans to re-draw attendance lines in December, to help incorporate the three new elementary schools.

The largest number of students being moved will be transferred from Knightsville Elementary; Beech Hill Elementary; William M. Reeves Elementary; and Oakbrook Elementary, according to a district representative.

As of Thursday, Dorchester District 2 officials reported that Alston-Bailey and Sires Elementary are almost complete. Sand Hill is a little behind due to the flood in the fall.
Superintendent Pye said to expect all schools to make the August deadline.

"The contingency plan is...there is not one," Pye said. "This is going to have to happen. So they'll have to work on Sundays or nights. We'll make sure it's done."

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