Community meeting

Chester County schools hold community meeting ahead of bond referendum vote

CHESTER COUNTY, SC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – $263 million. This is the amount the Chester County School District is asking to borrow to build or renovate six new schools.

“Another key priority for me is that we have safe and secure facilities, as you all know we’ve had shootings and things across our country and that’s something we hope and pray we don’t. let’s not have in Chester County but again as Superintendent I will go on and tell you that our campuses are not 100% secure,” says Chester County Schools Superintendent Dr. Antwon Sutton.

Dr. Antwon Sutton says the county is growing and he wants to make sure the school district follows suit. Three high schools, Chester High, Lewisville High, Great Falls High could see building renovations and athletic upgrades like javelin and pole vault spaces, concession stands and new practice grounds.

The Chester County Career Center could also move into Phases 2 and 3 of its renovation. Lewisville Elementary and Great Falls Elementary are also included in the project proposal.

Some people are not happy.

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“Things should have been fixed years ago and they have been postponed, so of course now they are at the point where it cannot be fixed. But they come up with these ideas and plans and yet they think it’s going to attract teachers and it’s going to attract new people, it’s not. A fancy building and a fancy school is not the answer,” said Joma Michels.

Joma Michels says she is also worried about the amount of money it will cost her and other taxpayers. If your home is valued at $100,000, you should expect to pay $406 per year for the project. And cars worth $10,000, the potential tax increase is nearly $61 per year.

“It will be quite an expensive project, but if presented correctly, I believe it will help in the education of our children in this county,” says Thomas Barnes.

The Barnes family say they still have some questions about the proposed projects but overall they like the idea. We asked them what they would vote for if they had to vote now.

“As a Lewisville graduate I would probably go vote for it, but as a business owner it will have a huge impact on our tax bill in the county,” Thomas says.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’d probably vote no again,” says Janice Barnes.

Today’s meeting was just one of three community meetings the district plans to hold to get community input on the bond referendum proposal. The vote will take place in May.