Clover’s $67M school bond set for vote Saturday

jbecknell@enquirerherald.comMarch 21, 2014 

If the bond referendum passes, a new middle school on Barrett Road near Clover, depicted in this rendering, would be built using the same plans as Oakridge Middle School in Lake Wylie.

CLOVER SCHOOL DISTRICT

  • What’s in the bond?

    The five construction projects and cost estimates are:

    • A new Lake Wylie elementary school on Oakridge Road, across from the middle school, to open in 2016: $25 million.

    • A new middle school on Barrett Road north of Clover to replace the current Clover Middle School, to open in 2016: $40 million.

    • A ninth grade academy for Clover High School in what is now Clover Middle School, which would be remodeled, to open in 2017: $10 million.

    • An aquatics and fitness center on S.C. 274 north of Crowders Creek Elementary School to be operated in partnership with the Upper Palmetto YMCA: $14 million.

    • Athletic improvements, including synthetic turf on the fields at Memorial Stadium, and one field each at Clover High School and Clover Middle School, and renovations to the stadium including restrooms and ramps to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance: $6 million.

    The balance, about $4 million, would pay for furnishings, equipment, landscaping and other costs.

  • Want to vote?

    •  Who – Only residents of the Clover school district (York District 2) can vote in the bond referendum.

    •  Where – Check your voter registration card, which lists the name of your precinct and where you should vote. If you’re still not sure, go to scvotes.org and click on “ Find Your Polling Place.” Pole Branch precinct residents, who normally vote at All Saints Catholic Church, will vote Saturday at Scherer Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4800 Charlotte Highway.

    •  When – Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. If you are in line at 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

— Voters in the Clover school district will go to the polls Saturday to decide whether to approve borrowing $67 million to pay for five construction projects.

The total estimated cost of the five projects is about $99 million. School officials plan to make a $32 million down payment.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All regular voting locations will be open, except the Pole Branch precinct, which normally votes at All Saints Catholic Church. Pole Branch voters will cast ballots at Scherer Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4800 Charlotte Highway.

The issue has drawn a flurry of opinions from Clover and Lake Wylie voters on both sides of the issue as the ballot day approaches.

Some have questioned the impact on property taxes.

Ken Love, assistant superintendent for business services for the district, said if the bond were approved, property taxes would be higher than they are in the current budget year, but lower than they have been in previous years.

If the bond package were approved, the district estimates, property taxes for owner-occupied homes would increase to between $140 and $152 for each $100,000 of assessed value – up from about $96 for each $100,000 in assessed value for the budget year that ends in June.

“If our estimates are reasonably accurate,” Love said, “that’s less than it (homeowner property taxes) was in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and the same as it was in 2008.”

He said taxpayers in the district are paying less than they were four years ago because tax rates have been reduced as debt has been retired.

The district has been paying off construction bonds used to build Larne Elementary and Oakridge Middle schools, as well as other debt, Love said.

Jennifer Becknell•  803-329-4077

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