Education

More News | |

Aiken school bond vote might draw few voters today

  • Follow Aiken

AIKEN --- Low turnout is expected for today's Aiken County School District bond referendum, despite its having become a hot topic among residents.

Back | Next
Teri Sullivan (left) and Jane Page Thompson protest the $236 million school bond in front of the Aiken County Judicial Center.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Teri Sullivan (left) and Jane Page Thompson protest the $236 million school bond in front of the Aiken County Judicial Center.

About 25 percent to 30 percent of the county's 91,000 registered voters are expected to participate, said Stuart Bedenbaugh, the Aiken County Registration and Election executive director.

In the past few weeks, a citizen-run "Vote No" group has rallied against the "Vote Yes for Kids" campaign, operated by the nonprofit Public Education Partners, saying that the school board has not given residents enough notice or remained transparent on financials of the referendum.

This is the first referendum the school board has brought in 34 years. The last referendum appropriated funds to build Midland Valley and South Aiken high schools.

The school district has said it has limited ability to raise revenue on its current cyclical maintenance budget of about $14 million a year and therefore can't tackle any major construction.

All polling locations, except for the Beech Island Fire Department, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters zoned for the Beech Island Fire Department should vote at the Beech Island Community Center on Atomic Road. Call (803) 642-1528 for information.

What's in the proposal?

The school board has proposed a $236 million bond to:

- Build a new North Augusta High School: $80 million

- Renovate Aiken High School: $60 million

- Create Silver Bluff Middle School by combining New Ellenton and Jackson middle schools: $24 million

- Move Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary/Middle to a new facility at the site of Ridge Spring-Monetta High: $35 million

- Build a new Leavelle-McCampbell Middle on Bettis Academy Road: $22 million

- Upgrade Aiken County Career and Technology Center and career facilities in Area 4 high schools: $15 million

Aiken County school district bond referendum question

Notice of referendum $236,000,000 General obligation bonds The consolidated school district of Aiken County Notice is hereby given that a Referendum will be held in The Consolidated School District of Aiken County, South Carolina (the "School District"), on May 25, 2010, for the purpose of submitting to all persons qualified to vote in the School District, under the Constitution and laws of the State of South Carolina, the following question:

Shall the Board of Education of The Consolidated School District of Aiken County, South Carolina (the "School District"), be authorized to issue, at one time or from time to time, general obligation bonds of the School District in a principal amount not exceeding $236,000,000, the proceeds of which shall be used to finance the cost of land acquisition, constructing, improving, equipping (including technology), expanding, renovating and repairing school facilities within the School District, as follows:

* Aiken High School - Substantial renovations, rehabilitation and improvements at the current location

* North Augusta High School - Acquisition of land and constructing, equipping and furnishing a new school facility including athletic facilities

* Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary/Middle School - Constructing, equipping and furnishing a new school facility on the site of Ridge Spring-Monetta High School

* Leavelle McCampbell Middle School - Constructing, equipping and furnishing a new school facility on land presently available

* Aiken County Career and Technology Center - Renovations, improvements and additions at the current location and career and technology enhancements at Wagener-Salley and Ridge Spring-Monetta high schools (substantial improvement and rehabilitation)

* Jackson Middle School/New Ellenton Middle School - Constructing, equipping and furnishing a new consolidated school facility on existing Silver Bluff site

Such question is being submitted pursuant to Article X, Section 15 of the Constitution of the State of South Carolina, 1895, as amended; Section 11-27-50 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976; Title 59, Chapter 71, Article 1, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, as amended; and a Resolution of the Board of Trustees of the School District adopted March 9, 2010.

If a majority of the qualified electors of the School District voting in the Referendum approve the issuance of not exceeding $236,000,000 General Obligation Bonds (the "Bonds"), the Bonds may be issued by the School District either as a single issue or from time to time as several separate issues.

The Bonds (exclusive of refunding bonds) shall be issued within five (5) years of the date of the Referendum. The proceeds of the Bonds will be used to defray the costs (including architectural, engineering, legal and related fees) of land acquisition and constructing, improving, equipping (including technology), expanding, renovating and repairing school facilities within the School District.

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
corgimom
32364
Points
corgimom 05/25/10 - 08:45 am
0
0
I hope that this is passed,

I hope that this is passed, don't let Aiken County schools turn into another Richmond County.

Safe, adequate, modern schools are a direct benefit to the county. A new NAHS is desperately needed.

BobM
0
Points
BobM 05/25/10 - 09:08 am
0
0
We need more teachers before

We need more teachers before we need new buildings. The money should go to teachers and educational programs.

DaddyFrog
46
Points
DaddyFrog 05/25/10 - 09:44 am
0
0
All of you homeowners on a

All of you homeowners on a fixed income, you had better get to the polls
and vote "NO". It will be too late to cry tomorrow. The school board wants to take on nearly 1/4 of a BILLION DOLLARS ($236,000,000) in debt. Our nation is bankrupt, SC is broke, Europe is facing a finiancal collapse, gas is going to $3.00 a gal., and the last time I checked tomatoes were $3.99 a pound at Kroger. And don't forget healthcare and the Value Added Tax idea that Congress is talking about. If you think you can afford some more taxes, then vote for them. I can't stand any more.

dwb619
93535
Points
dwb619 05/25/10 - 12:48 pm
0
0
Where's the TEA Party? During

Where's the TEA Party? During the last round of school building in Aiken County there was a disparity in type of structures build, according to zip-code and demographics. South Aiken{Cedar Creek} got stone and stuccco with Pella windows, while Warrenville got a butler building. On the other hand, Columbia County, Ga. used one building type in several locations.Also, there should be some adjustment in the number of administrators and salaries before any new taxes are levied. One administrator buys 2 or 3 entry level teachers.

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 05/25/10 - 01:10 pm
0
0
Why are non-property owners

Why are non-property owners allowed to vote for a referendum that will raise property taxes only???

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs