Fort Mill Times

Clover’s Ninth Grade Campus, final part of bond projects, ready for Aug. 14 unveiling

Clover School District readies to open Ninth Grade Campus

The final of five projects in the 2014 Clover School District's construction bond package will open for the new school year Aug. 17. A community open house to see the renovated middle school on Highway 55 East will be held Aug. 14. The $10 million
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The final of five projects in the 2014 Clover School District's construction bond package will open for the new school year Aug. 17. A community open house to see the renovated middle school on Highway 55 East will be held Aug. 14. The $10 million

The final piece of the Clover School District’s 2014 construction bond is nearly complete.

The $9.1 million renovation of the former Clover Middle School on S.C. 55 – of what is now called the Ninth Grade Campus – started a year ago on July 1.

Kelly Clayton with the district’s project management firm, Cumming Corp., said the project was ready for occupancy July 7, only a few weeks behind schedule.

“We had an inspection June 13 with items the state inspection needed to come back for, mainly punch-list and cleaning up a few items,” Clayton said.

Now, it’s down to final touch-ups, said principal Maurice Johnson on Friday.

Johnson said a community open house will be Aug. 14, followed by Freshman First Day Aug. 15 ahead of the first day of school Aug. 17.

“The freshmen will have the campus to themselves to familiarize themselves with the building, with our teachers, with programs and also some fun activities,” he said of the Aug. 15 event.

The stand-alone ninth-grade facility will serve all freshmen in the school district. The main Clover High School campus will serve grades 10 through 12, with a capacity of 2,400 students, while the Ninth Grade Campus will have up to 1,000 students.

“We’ve got all the new furniture in, touch-ups – the shell was there, and now the inside looks very nice,” said Bryan Dillon, district spokesperson.

The project is part of a $99 million Clover School District construction plan that includes five major projects, undertaken by the district after voters approved a $67 million bond package in 2014. The district made a $32 million down payment on the construction cost.

The decision to create a ninth grade campus and renovate the middle school was a controversial part of the campaign with some parents and residents of the school district expressing concern, or adamantly opposed to the plan.

The other four projects completed are:

Clover School District Community YMCA scheduled to open mid-October on Charlotte Highway in Lake Wylie, SC. The facility is part a $99 million construction bond.

▪ $17.8 million, 73,500-square-foot Clover School District Community YMCA near Crowders Creek Elementary School in Lake Wylie, completed in October 2016. The facility is owned by the district, and operated and maintained by the Upper Palmetto YMCA. It is home to the Clover High School swim team, provides after-school care and teaches every district fourth-grader how to swim through the YMCA’s Kicking with Confidence program. Voters approved $14 million in the bond package for the aquatic center, with the district and community adding almost $4 million for upgrades, including a second level walking track and outdoor pool. The district committed $1.8 million to build the Olympic-size 50-meter outdoor pool for competitive events, paid for with leftover bond money or surplus capital funds. Community donations and $1 million from York County hospitality tax money for the $1.7 million outdoor water park near the outdoor pool.

Clover School District will open two new schools this fall, including the new $34 million Clover Middle School on Barrett Road and Highway 55, about 1.5 miles west of the town of Clover. The school is modeled after Oakridge Middle School on Oakrid

▪ $40 million Clover Middle School on Barrett Road, opened August 2016.

Clover School District held a grand opening celebration Aug. 7 at Oakridge Elementary School in Lake Wylie, South Carolina. About 100 people came out for the ribbon-cutting dedication and tours.

▪ $23 million Oakridge Elementary School on Oakridge Road, opened August 2016.

▪ $6 million worth of upgrades to three athletic fields and changes to Memorial Stadium to be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, completed in spring 2015.

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

Contractor Clancy & Theys Construction was in charge of the Ninth Grade Campus and Oakridge Elementary School projects.

“It helped having a contractor on board familiar with us and same crew as well,” Clayton said.

Ninth Grade Campus renovations included upgrading kitchen equipment, replacing the HVAC units, new flooring, paint, lights, classroom casework, new science labs, renovation of the front office, replacing the intercom and security systems, new gym floor and bleachers, and more.

“We also renovated classrooms into vocational classrooms for ROTC, family consumer science, so freshmen don’t have to walk across campus for those programs,” Clayton said.

Ken Love, assistant superintendent for business services for the district, said the Ninth Grade Campus finished about $200,000 over budget, but “that’s not uncommon in renovation projects.”

“It’s a 30-year-old building so obviously there were challenges we had to overcome,” Clayton said.

Love said the district had money in the building funds.

“All the bond money was spent on the bond projects,” Love said.

The other four projects are in the one-year warranty phase. The indoor pool area at the aquatic center was resurfaced earlier this month, Clayton said.

“We’re working in the buildings this summer to complete those punch-list items,” he said.

Catherine Muccigrosso: 803-329-4069