Education

Lancaster County voters support school plans in referendum

In this 2015 file photo, Indian Land High School students crowd the halls during a class change.
In this 2015 file photo, Indian Land High School students crowd the halls during a class change. aburriss@heraldonline.com

Voters in Lancaster County unofficially agreed Tuesday to borrow $199 million for school projects, including a new high school and elementary school in the fast-growing Indian Land area.

Unofficial results showed 5,441 votes in favor of the bond, or about 74 percent, and 1,890 opposed, about 26 percent, according to information provided by Lancaster County school board Chairman Bobby Parker.

No results were posted by the Lancaster County elections office as of 9:15 p.m. Tuesday.

“I think it’s going to be great for the children of this county,” Parker said. “We were hoping this thing would pass and we had a lot of good people working for it.”

About 17 percent of voters cast ballots, Parker said.

Improvements would be made at schools across the district, but many of the projects would focus on the highest growth area in the county’s northern panhandle.

In addition to the Indian Land projects, the bond package would pay for security and technology upgrades across the district, improvements to athletic facilities at all high schools, construction of multipurpose facilities and playground and kitchen upgrades.

Building a new high school in Indian Land would take about three years. District officials say they will need to find 80 to 100 acres on which to build the high school.

Construction of a new elementary school in the Indian Land area, which is considered a more pressing need, would come sooner since land and a design already are in place.

In addition, the district plans to transition what will be three elementary schools to serve kindergarten through fourth grades, the existing middle school building to serve fifth and sixth grades, and the existing high school building to house grades seven and eight.

Indian Land High School has about 900 students. Indian Land Middle School, a former high school site, is in a transition now to add 400 students.

Harrisburg Elementary was built to relieve growth pressure at Indian Land Elementary School. In its second year, officials say Harrisburg is at or over capacity.

Jennifer Becknell: 803-329-4077

Lancaster County school bond projects

▪  A new high school in Indian Land

▪  A new elementary school in Indian Land

▪  Safety and security upgrades district-wide, including traffic pattern improvements

▪  Technology upgrades at all middle schools, high schools and the Barr Street Learning Center

▪  Athletic facility upgrades at all high schools

▪  Elementary school playground improvements at all schools

▪  Kitchen equipment and renovations at eight schools

▪  Renovations and additions to eight elementary schools

▪  A multipurpose facility to serve Andrew Jackson High School and Andrew Jackson Middle School

▪  Multipurpose facilities at Lancaster and Buford high schools

▪  Relocation of the main offices and renovations to the technology center at Lancaster High School

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