Construction projects ongoing for Clover School District

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comJune 26, 2014 

— Builders, renovators and planners aren’t getting the summer off in the Clover School District.

Facilities staff is working to finish several projects ahead of larger ones coming, the result of the March $67 million bond referendum calling for new schools, renovations and athletic upgrades.

Chris Dalton, director of facilities for the district, told the school board at its Monday meeting he expects upgrades at the maintenance facility to be complete by August. Bethel Elementary School is getting new windows this summer and a reconfigured, larger nurse station.

“We’ll be starting on the windows tomorrow,” Dalton said.

A $1.2 million upgrade to the district transportation center, which includes a new driveway, is “essentially complete,” said Kelly Clayton with project managing company Cumming.

Ongoing projects wrapping up will help the district as building begins for a new elementary school, middle school and aquatic center that were part of the bond referendum. Also included, Memorial Stadium will be renovated with synthetic turf, which will also be installed at three district fields, and Clover Middle School will be converted into a ninth grade academy.

The $2.5 million turf upgrades are underway.

“We have begun work at the high school,” Clayton said. “It is a tight schedule.”

Workers stripped the grass field for use elsewhere in the district. Drainage isn’t in place yet. Stone is coming. Additional land clearing was needed at the middle school field being replaced, and dirt from the transportation center project is being used in the field transitions.

The school board voted Monday to use black rubber infill for the new fields rather than green, a savings of $362,400. The different brand of infill won’t impact the quality of field surface, warranty or time frame for when it will need replacement, Clayton said.

“It’s basically a cosmetic, aesthetic type of thing,” he said.

A steering committee meets July 1 to start renovation plans for Memorial Stadium. Clayton expected floor plans by then, though restrooms were still being situated. Work will begin after football season.

Onlookers can see progress on new schools, too. There’s a construction entrance in place and silt fences up for the $40 million middle school replacement on 120 district-owned acres at Barrett Road and S.C. 55. Clayton expected state permits in place within a week to 10 days of the board meeting.

“They have started,” he said. “They have mobilized.”

State permit agencies also have “everything in hand” for the new $25 million elementary school across from Oakridge Middle School, near the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department station No 1. Timber has been cleared there and a check for it cut to the district. Construction comes soon.

“You’ll see that it has changed dramatically,” Clayton said.

Work on longer-range projects isn’t being put off, either. Staff will begin touring area YMCA facilities July 10 in anticipation of the new, $14 million aquatics center near Crowders Creek Elementary. The district will partner with the YMCA on that project. Construction should start in February, with completion by spring of 2016.

Meetings on the $10 million ninth grade academy transition will begin this fall. That building is still being used as a school for the coming year, so it won’t be transitioned until after the new middle school opens.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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