Officials: $198M Berkeley school projects timeline set at 8 years

By Valencia

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) - For the first time, Berkeley County School District officials made a public presentation of estimated completion dates for building and renovation projects for schools county district-wide.

"Our goal during this process is to be as transparent as possible. And, tonight was our first step in that process," said Rodney Thompson, superintendent for Berkeley County schools.

Thompson said the $198 million allotted for the projects would be spent over the span of seven to eight years. {}

"People want to see action. They want to see things moving and getting started," said Thompson. "But, they also wanted to see that we're using the taxpayers dollars wisely and building a safe school number one and a school that meets the needs of the children but, yet is responsible to our taxpayers in regards to they're paying for it."

The projects would be dealt with on an individual basis and officials hope to take a step-by-step approach.

"We're trying to space the projects out so we do a new school each year," said Connie Myers, capital projects manager for BCSD. "That way it's not so cumbersome on the county. We can meet our requirements, we can pick up the maintenance and repair and the staff and the teachers as we need."

According to a presentation given Monday night, some projects will begin as soon as January 2013 while others will be pushed back.

"Some of the renovations are going to be right out the bat because they are already existing schools and we can start working in those existing schools," Myers said. "Some of the new schools that we are trying to purchase we need to find land first. So that's going to be a six month process."

Thompson said there will be an open competition for the architecture work of each project. Some projects could be grouped together, he added.

Photos show graphs of some estimated completion dates.