Upgrading worst facilities could cost $225 million

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AIKEN --- Upgrading six of Aiken County's worst school facilities could cost $225 million, according to information presented this week to the school board.

District administrators pegged the price tag at anywhere from $168 million to $225 million to get Aiken High, North Augusta High, Leavelle McCampbell Middle, Jackson Middle, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary/Middle and the career center past their "inadequate" status.

Deputy Superintendent David Caver presented the board with a breakdown of each school's needs, including electrical, plumbing, security and capacity, which were considered inadequate at most of the facilities.

Leavelle McCampbell's gym, for example, doesn't meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, and North Augusta High has about 1,650 students in a school built for 1,200.

Each of the six schools will hold an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon for the public to see the problems board members saw when they toured each school before winter break.

As the board moves toward a possible bond referendum to fund the multimillion-dollar building projects, members said it's important the public see that their vision isn't about aesthetics.

"I think they would be appalled to go in and look at conditions those students and teachers are working under," Chairwoman Christine Harkins said.

"If they don't want to do it from the standpoint of a modern learning environment, then do it from a safety perspective, if nothing else," she said.

Public input meetings will be held this month in each attendance area. The board will meet Feb. 9 to discuss feedback from Saturday's open houses and each input meeting.

Reach Julia Sellers at (706) 823-3424 or julia.sellers@augustachronicle.com

COST ESTIMATES for Aiken county school upgrades

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Aiken County schools open houses

WHEN: Saturday, 10 a.m.-noon

WHERE: Aiken High, North Augusta High, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary/Middle, Aiken County Career and Technology Center, Leavelle McCampbell Middle and Jackson Middle

MORE INFO: Information about each school's needs and video and photos from each school will be provided at each site and online at aiken.k12.sc.us

WHAT: Aiken County schools input meetings

WHEN: All meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Area 1: Jan. 14, Aiken High in the C-2 wing

Area 2: Jan. 19, North Augusta High auditorium

Area 3: Jan. 21, Leavelle McCampbell Middle cafeteria

Area 4: Jan. 25, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elem./Middle gym

Area 5: Jan. 28, Jackson Middle cafeteria

OPTION 1

Aiken High: Retain the F-wing and the Taylor Building, which houses the school's gym and band facilities, and demolish the rest -- $45 million

North Augusta High: Retain the gym and auditorium. Demolish and renovate facilities -- $45 million

Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary/Middle: Move the school to the Ridge Spring-Monetta High site, which is within Aiken County lines, and create K-12 concept -- $35 million

Leavelle McCampbell Middle: Renovations -- $21 million

Aiken County Career Center: New construction and an addition in Area 4 -- $9 million

Jackson Middle: new addition where oldest portion of school is located -- $12 million

Total cost: $168 million


OPTION 2

Aiken High -- Retain the F-wing and the Taylor Building, which houses the school's gym and band facilities, and demolish the rest -- $45 million

North Augusta High -- new school site -- $75 million

Ridge Spring- Monetta Elementary/Middle: Move the school to the Ridge Spring-Monetta High site, which is within Aiken County lines, and create a K-12 concept -- $35 million

Leavelle McCampbell Middle: new school site -- $22 million

Aiken County Career Center: Option 1 additions at Area 3 site and new Area 4 building -- $15 million

Jackson Middle: new school site -- $24 million

Total cost: $224 million

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naturehazard
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naturehazard 01/07/10 - 10:02 am
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Why did the board let the

Why did the board let the properties go into such disrepair.

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 01/07/10 - 04:49 pm
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North Augusta High School

North Augusta High School isn't in disrepair, it's just too small....re-read the story

corgimom
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corgimom 01/08/10 - 09:13 am
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They are very old schools in

They are very old schools in a county that doesn't have unlimited money. Naturehazard, Aiken County is huge. There is also a lot of poverty in Aiken County. Mill workers and farm laborers don't have any money.

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