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$7M in upgrades coming to Clarendon County School District

The projects include locker room renovations, security camera upgrades, and new fire alarms.

CLARENDON COUNTY, S.C. — Clarendon County School District will soon be getting $7 Million in capital improvements thanks to a tax relief act that was passed in 2004.

When Emma Robbins sends her grandkids to school, she has one thing in mind: "Their safety," she said. 

"There's not a lot of things that we can control within the schools and within the lives of our students, but their learning environment is one thing as a district we can control,"  Director of Facilities Donald Davis said. 

The extensive list of projects includes land acquisition for the new Walker Gamble Elementary School, HVAC replacements, locker room renovations, security camera upgrades, and new fire alarms. 

"These projects are aimed at making sure that it's most advantageous to learning and it's as safe an environment as we can make it for our students,” said Davis. 

These improvements were made possible thanks to a law enacted in 2004, permitting the County Council to implement a one percent sales and use tax. The revenue generated from this tax has been earmarked for capital improvements within the district. 

"It's really done a lot for our district throughout the years and able to provide us with the ability to do some of these projects because if not, we'd have to be pulling stuff from general funds and of course that's being used for just normal everyday use,” said Davis. 

Robbins said she believes it is a worthy cause. 

"I think it's a good use of the money. If you've got to work for something, I'd want it to be for the education of our kids," she said.

According to Davis, some projects are already underway, while others are slated for completion as early as next year. These enhancements signify a significant step towards improving Clarendon County Schools for both students and the community.

The one percent sales tax is set to expire in 2025 and cannot be extended without additional authorization from the state legislature.

Below is a full list of projects: 

- Lawn maintenance/athletic field, $441,566.

- Sports field maintenance/equipment, $120,694.04;

- Copier/printer maintenance, $505,000;

- SPED toilet at Dr. Rose H. Wilder Elementary School, $4,000;

- East Clarendon Middle High School and Scott's Branch Middle High School bathroom renovations, $950,000;

- Scott's Branch Middle High School door and lock repairs, $98,000;

- Manning High School PA system upgrade, $170,000;

- District-wide repair of phone systems, $141,885;

- Schools' two-way radios, district-wide, $27,000;

- 400 MHZ bus radios, $7,000;

- Three minibuses and two large activity buses, $397,269.

- Fire alarms will be replaced across the district, $250,000.

- Locker room renovations at East Clarendon Middle High School and Scott's Branch Middle High School, $5,700.51;

- Consultation services for the new Walker Gamble Elementary School, $3,000;

- Purchase of the land for the new Walker Gamble Elementary School, $260,000;

 A modular unit for Manning Junior High School, $1,250,000;

- HVAC replacements across the district, $500,000;

- Custodial/maintenance equipment, $65,000;

- IT equipment and software across the district, $275,000;

- District-wide security camera upgrades, $500,000;

- District networking infrastructure, $1M; and

- Upgrades on access control points, $200,000.

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