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Improvements underway at Rock Hill schools

When school starts in August, the drive to Ebinport Elementary in the mornings and afternoons should be safer and less congested.

Construction crews are revamping the school's driveway, adding traffic loops and a new entrance for buses.

Until now, all traffic to the school - parents, employees and buses - was funneled up a one-lane driveway. Backed-up car lines spilled out onto India Hook and Ebinport Roads.

"It was dangerous in mornings and evenings," Rock Hill schools Associate Superintendent Anthony Cox said. The changes are about "getting people onto and off campus safely," he said.

The $550,000 upgrade is among $5 million in construction and technology projects that the school board approved last fall. The district is spending money from construction bonds that, by law, can't be used for school operations.

About 40 percent of the projects have been completed while most of those remaining are under way.

"They're on schedule and within budget," Cox said. "We've been very pleased with the projects ... A lot of local folks have gotten the work, which is good for the economy."

Among the other work being done over the summer:

Renovating Sullivan Middle School's auditorium

Upgrading Independence Elementary School's more-than-30-year-old heating and air units

Replacing junior varsity lockers at Northwestern High School

Installing wireless networks at all middle and high schools

Nearly all the projects will be completed by the time school starts Aug. 15, Cox said, and "hopefully make for a better educational experience for our teachers and our students."