Darlington County Schools approve bids for 2 new schools

    Renderings of one of the planned schools in Darlington County. (courtesy: Darlington County School District)

    Two more new schools are on the way to Darlington County.

    They go right along with childhood: building blocks. Only the ones outside Cain Elementary in Darlington are the real thing, and Darlington County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Newman said plans for new schools are moving on up.

    "Really, it's the most wonderful for our kids," Newman said. "They're the beneficiaries."

    In 2016, Darlington County voters said yes to a one-cent sales tax to fund $60 million toward three new school buildings. Tuesday night, school board members approved a nearly $36.7 million bid for two of those schools: one in the Lamar area and the other in Hartsville.

    "Those bids were awarded and we're looking forward to being able to start those projects," said Newman.

    Newman and school board members broke ground on the new Darlington-area elementary school back in August. The new school will consolidate Cain Elementary and Brunson-Dargan Elementary Schools.

    "We're just glad that our board and our community is as supportive as they are," said Newman.

    In addition to bids on two new schools, plans to keep students safe in all the district's buildings were finalized as well.

    "The board approved about $4.7 million for safety and security at our schools," Newman explained.

    He said those plans include new surveillance systems for the buildings, key card access to keep unwanted danger away from students and staff and a new emergency alert system to keep parents in the know when it comes to their students' safety.

    "In this day and age in older buildings, it's so important to have newer security measures in place to protect our students and employees." Newman said.

    New schools, security upgrades, hardworking students and staff--the building blocks for success.

    While all three construction projects are now underway, that doesn't mean the district is ignoring the other buildings. Newman said a building study is underway to find areas that might need the most work.

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