The Saluda County School District has been allocated $38 million to renovate and replace outdated facilities.
The funding is part of the $100 million appropriated to the South Carolina Department of Education as part of the General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.
“With school facilities approaching 100 years of age, it is long overdue that the state provides financial support for counties like Saluda which cannot afford to build new facilities on its own,” S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in a news release. “With the generous support of the General Assembly, we are pleased to be able to provide the additional funding that these districts need to provide safe, state-of-the-art facilities that students, families, and educators need and deserve.”
In April, the SCDE commissioned independent facility studies of schools in the state’s poorest counties. Saluda County School District includes five separate schools located in or near the town of Saluda and in the Hollywood community. Current pre-K through 12 district enrollment is approximately 2,412 students.
The review found the five schools were an average of 53 years old and in need of significant modification and renovation, according to the release. Recommendations include a new elementary school on the existing Saluda Elementary School campus that would consolidate Saluda Elementary and Saluda Primary schools. Additions and renovations to Hollywood Elementary and Saluda middle and high schools were also recommended.
“We are extremely grateful for the investment made by the State of South Carolina to improve the educational environment for our students, teachers, and community,” Harvey Livingston, Superintendent of Saluda County School District, said. “We commend Superintendent Spearman’s leadership in her continued fight for improvements in public education, especially in rural districts such as ours.”