Board gets first glimpse of new Scotland school

By: By Amber Hatten-Staley - Assistant editor

LAURINBURG — The Scotland County Board of Education gave approval this week to move forward with drawings and soliciting bids for the construction of the new elementary school.

Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services Larry Johnson presented the board with the drawings from Pinnacle Construction, which will be constructed on a 30-acre plot of land located off Old John’s Road just South of the I-74 bypass.

The site is located halfway between South Scotland and I. Ellis Johnson Elementary schools — students from those two schools will be consolidated and moved into the new elementary school once it’s constructed.

Johnson needed approval from the board to allow Pinnacle to put bids out for the district to get a price for the project.

“These drawings do not commit us to anything, at this point. The land purchase still needs to be considered. The current owner has submitted to the zoning board and has passed the first phase of approval. The next phase is Feb. 20 it will go to city council for a vote,” Johnson said. “Once that is approved the land owner will have the land rezoned to a school zone. Then board has the right to move forward with the purchase.”

The board also gave approval to Pinnacle to work on separate drawings so they could get a price estimate on adding a pool to the school, which would be open to the community on the weekends. The gym, cafeteria and pool area would all be connected and open to the community

“People would have access to the gym, cafeteria and pool on the weekends, as a community facility,” said Superintendent Ron Hargrave. “Without having access to the rest of the school building. All of that can be sectioned off and locked off from the rest of the school, so people in the community can have access to those facilities.”

The pool would go out as a separate bid from the school, allowing the district to decide after they see the price if they are still interested in adding the pool.

The timeline for construction of the new school has it opening at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

“(Randy) Baker still feels like we can meet this deadline, if we continue to move forward, since most of the construction will be during the summer making weather less of an issue,” Johnson said. “In addition, the land we are looking to purchase doesn’t really need to be cleared. We would have to build up some, but that is the extent of it.”

Johnson also updated the board on the progress of construction on the additions to Laurel Hill and Sycamore Lane Elementary schools by showing them drone footage of both sites, along with some still photos.

“Now it’s getting the brick work and framing done at Laurel Hill, we couldn’t start the masonry until the door frames arrived,” Johnson said. “The next time I bring something you’ll see bricks.”

The pad for the new gym at Laurel Hill will be poured on Monday.

One pad at Sycamore Lane has been laid and the second one has been poured. The third pad at Sycamore Lane is being prepped and should be poured by next week — weather permitting.

“Two pads have been laid and framing has already started on the first pad and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this week. Pad two has been poured, but pad three has not been poured due to the weather. It was scheduled to be poured by the end of this week, beginning of next.”

With the recent snow storms, construction at Laurel Hill is about a week behind and Sycamore Lane is two weeks behind schedule.

Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]

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By Amber Hatten-Staley

Assistant editor