Florence School District 1 superintendent unveils consolidation plans with District 4

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 11:27 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – Florence School District 1 superintendent provided a first look Thursday night into what the district plans to do when it consolidates with Florence School District 4.

Back in March, State Superintendent Molly Spearman announced that the two districts would consolidate effective July 1, 2022. FSD4 had face hardships and financial instability. Spearman also said it is difficult for “districts smaller than 1,000 students to successfully operate financially and programmatically.”

RELATED COVERAGE | Florence School District 4 to consolidate with Florence School District 1

FSD1 is expected to receive millions of dollars from the state for the consolidation.

Superintendent Dr. Richard O’Malley unveiled plans during Thursday night’s board meeting on how that money could possibly be used.

He pitched the idea to move Williams Middle School into the recently built, and under capacity, North Vista Elementary School.

Across from North Vista sits the old Wilson High School. O’Malley said the district plans to buy the property and build a brand-new elementary school for North Vista, Lester, Timrod and Wallace Greg elementary schools.

Each board member expressed their gratitude and excitement over the proposed plan.

“I think this is a wonderful thing and when I can see Mr. EJ McIver as excited as he is tonight, that’s a red-letter day here,” said board member Trisha Caulder.

If the board approves the proposed plan, O’Malley said construction could begin in only two years.

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