Darlington County Board of Education announces location of new schools
(DARLINGTON COUNTY) -- The Darlington County Board of Education announced today the locations for new schools in Hartsville and Lamar. The third new school, which will combine Brunson-Dargan Elementary and Cain Elementary, will be built in Darlington on the site of the existing Cain Elementary School.
District officials and the construction team evaluated extensively more than 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.
In the fall, the school district held a series of public meetings in Darlington, Hartsville, and Lamar to share with the public the process the board would follow to select the land. In the public meetings, officials also reviewed the site selection criteria. This extensive criteria list included adequate acreage, little or no wetlands, suitable soil conditions, no environment contaminants, no high-powered voltage lines, transportation/ roadway requirements, and utility requirements, as well as approval from the S.C. Department of Education’s Office of School Facilities and the S.C. Department of Transportation. Of course, the land also had to be within the district’s budget. In all, the district evaluated more than 25 sites in Lamar and Hartsville before selecting the final two. From the beginning, the location of the new Darlington school was set at Cain Elementary School, based on the 2012 School Facilities Plan.
“No location is perfect, but we have worked tremendously hard to evaluate every possible location in each school zone,” said Jamie Morphis, chairman of the Darlington County Board of Education. “I am confident we have chosen the best possible sites for our new schools, and I look forward to breaking ground and getting these new schools built for the children of Darlington County.”
The district will hold another series of public meetings at the end of the month to update the community on the building process and to share initial drawings of the new schools. In Darlington, the community construction update will be held on Monday, March 26, at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of Cain Elementary School. In Lamar, the community construction update will be held on Tuesday, March 27, at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of Lamar High School. In Hartsville, the community construction update will be held on Thursday, March 29, at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at Washington Street Elementary School.
The board has not made any decisions about what will happen to the current school facilities.