Florence One

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence One Schools Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to hold a referendum on whether to issue $198 million in bonds for school construction and improvements.

The public will vote on Feb. 26 on the proposal, which would provide a new Savannah Grove Elementary School, a Southside Middle School, a Williams Middle School and a new school combining Wallace Gregg and Timrod Elementary schools and renovations and additions to the high schools in the district.

Board member Porter Stewart moved to approve the proposal and board member Trisha Caulder seconded the motion.

Stewart said that although the proposal does not include any schools in the area he represents, the plan will reach far beyond just the schools in the plan.

“I think it is a fair plan, a good plan, and I fully support it,” Stewart said.

Chairman Barry Townsend said the referendum proposal is only the first part of the building program because the percent money that was previously going toward building new schools will now be freed up to renovate more schools.

Caulder said she was excited to see the opportunity for students to have first-class facilities.

Board member Bryan Chapman said the taxes would not increase until 2021, which will give taxpayers the chance to prepare for the rise. Chapman said the taxes on a $40,000 car could rise $6 per month and taxes on a $250,000 home could rise $26 per month.

"This is going to be a ripple effect that is going to beyond our comprehension right now," Chapman said.

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