By Aziza Jackson
DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — Darlington County School District (DCSD) recently broke ground on the first of three new elementary schools to be constructed in Darlington County.
The DCSD serves over 10,000 students in 23 schools; the district announced back in March that the new school will be built in Darlington on the site of the existing Cain Elementary School, while the other two schools will be located in Hartsville and Lamar.
District officials and the construction team extensively evaluated over 19 sites in Hartsville and eight sites in Lamar before selecting the final locations of the new schools. Lamar’s new school, which will combine Lamar Elementary School and Spaulding Elementary School, will be built on property directly across from the intersection of County Club Road and Lamar Highway. Hartsville’s new elementary school, which will combine Washington Street Elementary School and West Hartsville Elementary School, will be built on Bay Road between Bobo Newsom Highway and Westwinds Drive.
News & Press reports that the new Darlington-area elementary school will combine the student populations of Cain and Brunson-Dargan elementary schools, both of which are over 50 years old, and will be constructed on the current site of Cain Elementary.
The school board reportedly awarded an $18.3 million bid from Edcon Inc., based in Peak, S.C., which was the lowest of five bids submitted. Brownstone Construction group is currently serving as project manager. The Darlington school’s bid is reportedly the first to come before the board. It is also the only one of the three elementary schools to be built on property already owned by the district.
The three schools in Darlington, Hartsville and Lamar will be built simultaneously, according to the News & Press, with the expectation that construction will begin at Cain in September.
According to News 13, the district’s new superintendent says the new school will be built with student safety in mind.
“It shows commitment from the board for Darlington County School District, commitment to the kids and to the communities about progress, so for a new superintendent walking in the door you couldn’t ask for much better than to be able to build new schools for our kids,” said Dr. Tim Newman, DCSD superintendent, to News 13.
Reports from News 13 and News & Press contributed to this story.