SALUDA, S.C. (WJBF) — NewsChannel 6 told you in February 2022 that several rural districts in the CSRA would learn if they will get millions for construction needs from the state. Saluda County and Allendale County School District will soon get the funds.
“The infrastructure is to the point now that is almost impossible to upgrade our facilities,” Saluda County Superintendent Dr. Harvey Livingston said.
NewsChannel 6 got an inside look at Saluda Elementary School.
The classrooms appear outdated, some windows are boarded up, and wire is exposed from the ceiling.
The cafeteria has limited seating. When it rains, school leaders must make sure water doesn’t end up near mechanical equipment due to leaks.
We also saw a screen over the window of the boy’s restroom to keep wildlife at bay.
“Our students deserve the same opportunities and the same buildings that students across the state,” he said.
The opportunities could come in the form of $38 million from the state education department.
State Superintendent Molly Spearman, the Saluda County School District Superintendent, school board members, and the General Assembly made the announcement Thursday, June 9 at a news conference.
“This current year’s budget, we appropriated $40 million of our SR fund money to help COVID related safety needs and school construction.” South Carolina State Superintendent Molly Spearman said.
District leaders say the money will be used to consolidate the primary and elementary schools into a new building.
The current primary school will be used for office space.
There will be a new technology wing for middle and high school students. It will be the most significant update within the district within the last five years.
“We did go in and put some new windows in, just to make the buildings a little more energy-efficient, but that’s been the last major investment in this building during my 20 years here,” Dr. Livingston recalled.
Saluda County schools will not be the only district in our area to receive funds for construction and renovations.
Allendale County schools will also get extra funding.
“We have already appropriated off our SR funds, $2 million that help them build a new wing on their elementary school,” Spearman said. “There is another allotment that will be going to Allendale that we have not announced yet that will help them with renovations at their high school,” she added.
School leaders say it will take some time before construction gets underway.
A bond referendum for the new projects could be on the ballot in November.