Darlington County hopes to add 3 new schools if penny tax passes

Darlington County hopes to add 3 new schools if penny tax passes

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - A school district is looking at adding new schools, but getting them built and up and running will be at a cost to you.

Darlington County School leaders said they want to add three new schools to replace aging facilities.

Here's exactly what the district wants to do: A new Darlington School will be built and will replace Brunson-Dargan and Cain Elementary Schools. Also, a new Hartsville School will replace Washington Street and West Hartsville Elementary Schools. And lastly, a new Lamar school will replace Spaulding and Lamar Elementary Schools.

The district said that these new facilities will come state-of-the-art.

Getting those new facilities built would mean you voting yes to a referendum to continue a penny tax within Darlington County.

"It's important that people understand that what is listed in the referendum is what must be done and we can't add anything to that. What's listed in the referendum is three new schools; that's what we are committed to do. And by law that's what have to do, and can't add anything to that," said Audrey Childers with the Darlington County School District.

Right now, there is already a penny tax being collected after voters approved it to start in 2003.

That first penny is slated to bring in $48 million.

The one you will vote on this coming November is slated to bring in $60 million.

District officials said if voters don't vote to continue the penny tax, others sources of income may be explored to get those new facilities.

"If the voters choose not to pass it then the board is going to have to take a step back and look at other options. There are some other options, but they are very, very limited. An example, If they choose to build new schools we would have to spread it out over several years and we would probably have to increase some taxes," Childers said.

That vote will take place during the general election vote this November.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.