“It will be the heartbeat of the community”: New Kershaw County elementary school to open in 2021

The new elementary school will open its doors in time for the 2021-22 school year

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) —The Kershaw County School District is breaking ground on having students from the North Central part of the county spending their K-12 years in one location.

The district is building a new elementary school within walking distance of North Central Middle and High Schools. District officials and community leaders broke ground on a site located adjacent to North Central Middle School Monday afternoon.

District officials are excited about the new school since it can hold up to 600 students and provide plenty of space for new technology.

One parent who teaches in the district and has lived in the North Central part of the county for years say this is a big step forward for the district and their community.

“It means a lot. For many years, we’ve had small, outlying schools, and we’ve seen our struggles. As a teacher, we’ve dealt with some larger class sizes. Our facilities are not necessarily what we all would hope for for our kids, so this is exciting,” said Patricia Tupper, who teaches in the district and has children who attend schools in the North Central part of the county.

Currently, students who live in the North Central region are divided among three elementary schools: Mount Pisgah Elementary School, Baron DeKalb Elementary School, and Bethune Elementary School. 

Recently, the district’s school board voted to close the three older schools to have the new elementary school and the existing middle and high schools in one central location.

“If you look at the makeup of some of our families, there are families that have elementary school, middle school, and high school students, so having all three buildings on the same campus, so to speak, will hopefully logistically be good for the parents,” said Dr. Shane Robbins, the Superintendent of the Kershaw County School District.

The Price family, who has made land donations to the district in the past, provided a helping hand so that the district could build the new school. 

“To donate 25 acres, that’s a lot of money. For the school district, we could focus on the bricks and mortar of the construction and not have to worry about going around and trying to purchase property,” Dr. Robbins said.

Even though the new school won’t open for a couple of years, some are already anxious to begin a new chapter.

“I have heard some of the kids say, ‘when will we have our new school? When are they going to open it’, so they’re really excited. So now, having all three of these schools together, this will really be the heartbeat of this community,” Tupper said.

The district says it will cost $21 million to build the new school, but zero of those dollars will come from taxpayers. Rather, Dr. Robbins said investments made with money from previous referendums are funding the school.

Officials say the new school will open its doors in time for the 2021-2022 school year.

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