Lexington-Richland Five passes bond referendum

Published: Nov. 5, 2008 at 11:12 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2008 at 5:36 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In addition to candidates, South Carolinians also voted on several school bond issues. There was a controversial proposal on the ballot in the Lexington-Richland Five School District.

The third time proved to be the charm for the referendum.

Tuesday's "Yes" vote in Lexington-Richland District Five could mean big changes at the corner of Broad River and Freshly Mill Roads. The corner is the leading location for a cluster of new schools to be built with money generated by the $244 million in bonding approved on Tuesday.

The referendum's passing is a delight to interim superintendent Dr. Herb Berg.

"It wasn't even a squeaker. It was a blowout. It was a blowout for the schools. That's one of the things that's exciting about this. The public in this school district spoke to great schools," Berg said.

After two previous failures, district leaders and other referendum supporters came roaring back. Trouncing critics who said the district had no proven need for new schools.

"I think the district's critics, when they see the district got a 58 percent "Yes," the public supports good schools," Berg said.

The bond will also renovate seven existing schools. At least $45 million worth of improvements will be made to Chapin High School alone.

This won't be the only part of the Midlands to see new schools over the next few years. Lexington One and Richland Two also approved major bond issues Tuesday. And that could mean construction of as many as 14 new schools.

Berg says the district is taking preliminary steps to get started on the plan.

"Right after Thanksgiving we'll be putting out to the public the timeline on each of the projects. When we expect them to go to bid. When we expect to have construction. When we expect to be moving in," Berg said.

Reported by Jack Kuenzie

Posted by Jeremy Turnage