FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Days after a ribbon cutting at the new North Vista Elementary School in Florence, construction is pressing on for the next part of a plan to bring updated classrooms to Florence School District One students.
Crews are working to complete the new Royall Elementary School on Cheraw Drive by April. Move-in is projected for June and students will start in the new classrooms for the 2015 school year.
Royall Elementary's current building on Woods Road is 65 years old.
"We're going to be really, really, really sorry to leave this building," said Deborah Smith, Royall Elementary Curriculum Coordinator. "In fact, I graduated from Royall myself."
While it holds many memories, Royall staff are already working to make the new building feel like home by customizing flooring, paint and furniture.
"I know sometimes with a new building you get all blank walls and it's overwhelming," Smith said. "We're going to make sure that we don't have that, that we maintain that atmosphere that we have here at Royall which is one of a child-friendly environment."
Technology will be updated and the 900-student building will be more than enough space for the growing student population.
"We have 19 portable units in the back and it would be nice for security to be able to house all of our students and teachers inside one building that we can monitor more closely," Smith said.
Royall is the last of four schools to receive a newly-constructed building in Florence School District One in recent years as part of "Phase One."
North Vista Elementary, Moore Middle School and Lucy Davis Elementary were also in the plan. "Phase Two" with Delmae Elementary, Southside Middle, Williams Middle and Savannah Grove Elementary could start in several years.
"They are the most current. They're up to date and we simply operate on the premise that 21st century students really deserve 21st century schools," said Lionel Brown, assistant superintendent for administrative services in FSD1.
The school district uses bonds that it sells for $10 million a year to fund the infrastructure projects.