Survey finds support for Clover school construction projects

jbecknell@enquirerherald.comNovember 26, 2013 

— Favorable support from community members for five construction projects in the Clover School District 2014 bond referendum ranges from a low of 76 percent to a high of 81 percent, according to a recent survey.

A survey designed and analyzed by independent research and communications firm K12 Insight was conducted Oct. 15 to Nov. 1. A total of 1,802 community members participated in the survey, including parents, students, employees and residents in the district’s six elementary attendance zones.

“Community support for the bond and its individual components is strong,” Superintendent Dr. Marc Sosne said in a press release. “We’re grateful for this feedback and look forward to continued conversations about district improvements.”

The Clover school board approved a March 22 bond referendum that will ask voters to approve borrowing $67 million for five construction projects. The total estimated cost of the construction package is $99 million, school officials said, but the district will make a $32 million down payment.

The percentage of respondents who said they “strongly” or “somewhat” favor each of the bond’s five proposed project is:

• New elementary school, 78 percent.

• New middle school, 81 percent.

• Ninth-grade academy, 77 percent.

• Athletic facility updates, 79 percent.

• Partnership with the Upper Palmetto YMCA to create a fitness and aquatics center, 76 percent.

The elementary school is planned in the Lake Wylie area, while the middle school is planned to be on Barrett Road in Clover.

The ninth-grade academy would be located in what is presently Clover Middle School, which would be remodeled and replaced with the new middle school.

Athletic facility updates include artificial turf and renovations at Memorial Stadium and artificial turf at two other Clover fields: Clover High and Middle.

The aquatics and fitness center, to be located on S.C. 274 north of Crowders Creek Elementary School, would be operated in a partnership with the YMCA.

Other findings of the survey are:

• 61 percent of participants said they would be willing to attend a town hall meeting.

• 33 percent said they would want to participate in a focus group.

Other survey findings:

• 23 percent opposed or said they needed more information about the ninth-grade academy.

• 24 percent opposed or needed more information about the proposed YMCA partnership.

• 22 percent opposed or needed more information about the elementary school.

• 21 percent opposed or needed more information about the athletic facility updates.

• 19 percent opposed or needed more information about the new middle school.

If the bond passes, school officials say homeowner property taxes in 2016 are projected to be lower than they were in 2008, depending on interest rates when the bonds are sold.

Jennifer Becknell •  803-329-4077

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