Several schools in Aiken County are getting significant renovations. In 2014, South Carolina voters passed the “One Cent Sales Tax.” The tax is bringing certain schools into the 21st-century.
“We were able to renovate and rebuild those facilities,” said Chief Officer of Operations & Students, Shawn Foster. “The community gave the school district to enhance those opportunities.”
Dr. Foster says the tax help raise $189 million. Some if it built the new Leavelle-McCampbell Middle School.
It is now being used to enhance Aiken and North Augusta High Schools.
The tax jump-started construction on a new campus at Ridge Spring-Monetta. And it will help renovate the Aiken County Career and Technology Center.
“The plan before then would’ve have put those facilities 15 to 20 years out, to see what you see today,” explained Foster.
Dr. Foster says the One-Cent Tax is helping to build safer learning environments for students.
“We have students who are in buildings 90 years old,” says Foster There are certain infrastructure needs, so I think this all about an overcrowding issue.”
In Thursday’s meeting, the community had questions about the timeline of the projects.
“All of them have been under budget and on time,” says Foster.
The Chief Officer of Operations & Student Services told NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson, that money collected from taxpayers is strictly for one purpose.
“Even if we come in ahead of schedule, any additional dollars can only be used for the identified projects or additional property tax relief,” says Foster.
Other schools in Aiken County will soon be renovated once the previous projects are completed.
Photojournalist: Antony Sherrod