In some ways, 2012 was no different for the head of the Fort Mill School District than any other. He continued to battle the district’s constant issue – growth. The schools faced the same issue they often faced, overcrowding, and Epps and the school board, which also had to contend with budget constraints, continued to solve the problem head-on.
In 2012, the district froze enrollment at Pleasant Knoll Elementary School, the third elementary school in the district to freeze enrollment, and continued plans for construction of the district’s eighth and ninth elementary schools.
But perhaps the district’s biggest step toward solving growth issues came towards the end of the year, when Epps proposed a unique solution to the issue of overcrowding at the district’s two high schools. Instead of building a third high school right away, Epps proposed expanding the district’s two existing high schools.
Expanding Nation Ford would be an easy task, as there is plenty of room around the school for expansion. Expanding Fort Mill High School would mean taking over nearby Riverview Elementary and building a new Riverview Elementary on property the district owns on Hwy. 21 Business.
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The proposal will mean a holding a bond referendum but, Epps said, the initiative could potentially save taxpayers millions of dollars.
Epps presented his plan to the board and, within weeks, had assembled a team to market the plan to the community. The referendum is expected to be held in April.