By Lia Sestriclsestric@abcnews4.com
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - Outside of Knightsville Elementary, elected officials stood with school leaders in support of Dorchester School District's 2 referendum.
Dorchester County Chairman Larry Hargett says he considers the referendum a preservation plan.
"We have some schools that are in desperate need of repair. We have some schools that ceilings are actually dropping down to the floor. So, we have a big maintenance problem," he said.
The $179 million bond would help build four new schools and renovate other buildings.
Knightsville Elementary is the oldest building in the district and has been a poster child of the district's continuing growth.
Hargett says construction costs are down and bond interest rates are at an all-time low, making now the perfect time to pass this referendum.
"My opinion as a councilman is if we don't pass in 2012 by 2020 we will probably need a $700 to $800 million school bond," he said.
Those who oppose the school improvement referendum include senior citizens.
"We pay a lot of taxes here and our real estate taxes keep going up I think we just pay enough," Richard Hutton said.
Leaders say taxpayers would see a $68 per year increase.
But for those who don't have direct ties to the district tax dollars would be better spent elsewhere.
"We don't have children here they didn't grow up here," he said.
Right now there are 177 mobile class rooms throughout the district. School leaders say if this referendum doesn't pass that number will surely grow.