Columbia, SC (WLTX) — Richland School District two board members will allow the placement of a bond referendum on voting ballots this November.
In a 6-1 decision, the district voted to place two questions on the ballot in November.
The first question will deal with upgrading several schools in the district and the second question will deal with improving fine arts and sports facilities for local schools.
“For the board to listen to those findings and then vote with confidence to allow us to ask our community for the right to borrow money to be able to put these faculties in place is a tremendous step forward for the district.” said Dr. Baron Davis, Richland Two Superintendent,
If approved, and voters say "yes" to both questions in November, close $370 million will go into rebuilding Forest Lake and Bethel Hanberry Elementary, as well as connecting parts of EL Wright Middle School.
“We think it’s more safe and secure to allow our students to be housed on campus that keeps them more contained as they transition from class to class," Davis said in regards to EL Wright Middle School. "For Bethel Hanberry and Forest Lake, it’s just need for growth at forest lake and as well those are older school sites."
If voters vote yes on sports facilities, close to $90 million will go into building better sports and fine arts facilities. Ridge View High School and Richland Northeast High School, who both currently share stadiums with Blythewood High School and Spring Valley High School respectively, will begin building football stadiums.
"The plan will also look at some additions to our fields, and field houses at our middle schools," Davis said. "Also, that 86 million addresses our middle school needs when it comes to athletic fields as well as high school needs and our needs for a fine arts center.”
Davis also feels that these plans are putting students first.
“I am confident should they approve us to borrow 468 million dollars that they are confident that we will be transparent that they are confident that we will put students first at all times.” Davis said.
Most homeowners would pay an extra $40 a year in property taxes for each $100,000 of their home's value, if voters approve both questions. For example, the owner of a $200,000 home would pay an extra $80.