New Horry County Education Center to cost $17.9 million

New Horry County Education Center to cost $17.9 million
Horry County Schools will spend $4.9 million more for the Horry County Education Center than district officials originally planned. (Source: MyHorryNews)

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Horry County Schools will spend $4.9 million more for the Horry County Education Center than district officials originally planned.

“The last thing I want to do is when we finish the school, we move portables in, knowing we could have done something now,” said chairman Ken Richardson before the vote on the project budget was taken. The board voted 7-3 Monday in favor of spending the additional money.

The new HCEC will be located next to the existing district office building on Four Mile Road in Conway.

The original plans called for a $13 million, 40,000-square-foot building, with a standalone gym and no kitchen facility. In a recent facilities committee meeting, board members decided those specs would not work.

After consulting with the principal of the school, and after more facilities committee meetings, the board had two options to choose from: one with 27 classroom stations, an integrated physical education building, and a kitchen facility for a total of $16.4 million; and another with those same specifications except it comes in at 48,500 square feet, including a total of 32 classroom spaces that would house all current HCEC teachers, for $17.9 million.

Mark Koll with the facilities department said that the two building options cost the same in terms of square footage, at $228.60 per square foot.

Vice chairman John Poston said he's concerned about spending the extra money when there are still many other projects in the community that will need funding. He made a motion to move forward with the less expensive, $16.4 million option.

But that motion failed 3-7, with Poston, District 9 member Chris Hardwick, and District 10 member Neil James voting in favor.

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