Education

Fort Mill school enrollment could reach 14,000 by next week

The Fort Mill School District may be serving 14,000 students when school starts next week.

Enrollment stood at 13,821 students as of Aug. 9, said superintendent Chuck Epps. With the continued wave of new residents moving into the district, that number could increase the first week of school.

Normally, the district doesn’t come close to the projection until the 10th day, he said.

“If that holds true and we have another three days, it’s a little scary,” Epps said. “By day ten we may be well over 14,000, but we’ll see.”

The district may have to add staff after the 10th day of school, depending on how many students actually show up, he said.

Construction

The opening of Pleasant Knoll Middle School in on track for May 9, 2017, said Jim Britton with Cumming Corp., a Fort Mill-based construction management company.

The improvements at Fort Mill High School and Bob Jones Stadium have made progress this summer, but work will continue through mid-September, he said. Work on the stadium means Fort Mill High’s football team has to play the first month of its schedule on the road.

Most of the work for the Gold Hill and Fort Mill Middle School Gym Expansions was scheduled to be completed Aug. 11, Britton said.

The school board will hear early site work package bids for the third high school on Sept. 6. The site includes 530,000 cubic yards of soil that will need to be moved, the largest job of this type the district has taken on yet, Britton said.

“This is a huge grading project,” he said.

The board awarded a bid for the district’s training and support facility project on July 20, Britton said.

Installation of the four athletic fields at the Riverview Athletic Complex is set to begin in mid-September, Britton said. The entire project is set for a Nov. 30, 2017 completion.

Assistant superintendent Tommy Schmolze said that the district’s decision to purchase land in the last bond referendum made a difference in getting these projects going.

“Without that, we would be in some trouble moving forward,” he said. “We’ll be scrambling to keep ahead of the growth even with the sites that we have.”

Schmolze said the school principals have also been gracious in dealing with the construction.

“They’ve been very good to work with,” he said.

Financials

The district had $91 million in general fund revenue and $82.6 million in expenditures as of May 31, said Leanne Lordo, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.

Year-to-date property tax revenue is $32 million, but the district had budgeted $31 million, she said. Tax collections for June have yet not been received, but the district is predicting to be over on collections by just under $1 million.

Fee in lieu of tax revenue came in $375,000 over budget, bringing total collections to $1.5 million, Lordo said.

“Everything should be on target with our expected numbers,” she said.

The district’s state revenue was also above budget by $1.6 million, which the district expected with the increased growth, she said.

“Based on these two revenue items over our budget, I do not anticipate we are going to need to transfer any funding through the contingency fund,” Lordo said.

If the numbers hold true through the district’s audit and if the fund balance can be kept at the 19 percent goal, the district should not need to pull from its $1.8 million, she said.

The district collected $393,750 in impact fees in June and $423,750 in July, bringing the year to date collection total to $41 million, Epps said.

Other Business

The board approved on the second reading the policy to establish a uniform grading scale in which an A is a 90-100, a B 80-89, a C 70-79, a D 60-69 and an F is 59 and below. The policy is not retroactive and would take effect for grades 2-12 this school year, said Marty McGinn, assistant superintendent of curriculum and human resources.

The board also approved the second reading of a policy stating the final approval of a school’s mascot, teams, colors and other aspects falls on the school board, she said.

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