New Horry County middle schools likely not opening until next school year

New Horry County middle schools likely not opening until next school year
Myrtle Beach Middle School. (Source: Marissa Tansino).

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – School district officials are still waiting for certificates of occupancy for two of the five new schools that were initially expected to open by the start of this school year.

Socastee Middle School and Myrtle Beach Middle School are still waiting to welcome students and staff. Spokesperson for Horry County Schools Lisa Bourcier said Myrtle Beach Middle School had an inspection and have about 25 additional items construction needs to complete before a certificate of occupancy can be awarded.

The re-inspection is slated for Dec. 19. Bourcier said school officials hope the certificate of occupancy will be rewarded at that time, and if it is, the keys will be handed over to the school district so they can begin their move-in process.

We have about 30 plus days that staff needs to go in and make sure all the technology is in place before we start moving books and desks and what have you, for that,” said Bourcier, “So, we really don't want to publicize a specific move in schedule until we know we have the [certificate of occupancy] in place for that. But, we do have very specific move in schedules preliminary, drafted when we're ready to go, so we are hoping that we can get that towards the end of December."

Bourcier said the timeline for Socastee Middle School is a little trickier because of the timing of the expected completion. According to Bourcier, substantial completion of the school is expected around mid-February, but once officials get the keys and the certificate of occupancy for that, it will soon be spring break and right after that, state testing.

Bourcier said this is not only a concern for the staff, but for the students as well. Officials are still a long way from making a decision on a final move in schedule for Socastee Middle, but one possibility is starting the move-in process during the summer. If that were the case, the school would then open at the beginning of next school year.

"It's quite a substantial loop road for the stacking of cars for parent drop off ad school buses, too. So, it's quite a bit of site work as well as the building construction itself," she said.

Socastee Middle School is still under construction, has not yet received a certificate of occupancy, and no date has been set yet for the final inspection.

"It would be quite a lot to have them move for a couple of weeks benefit left in the school year, because we do finish school the first week of June, but, that's something we're just going to have to wait and see. Again, it all depends on when we get that last [certificate of occupancy]," Bourcier said.

Once the school district is ready to release the detailed move-in schedule, there will be opportunities for students and staff to have tours along with open house opportunities for both parents and the public, according to Bourcier.

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