Schools all over Aiken County are getting multi-million-dollar makeovers thanks to the penny sales tax and bond referendum that were approved by voters in the past.
The funding for the construction updates comes from the Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax that Aiken County residents voted to approve in November 2014, expected to raise $188 million, and a $90 million bond referendum that was approved in May 2018.
While many projects have been completed, current projects under construction include Millbrook Elementary School, Belvedere Elementary School, Hammond Hill Elementary School, Aiken Scholars Academy, North Augusta High School and Aiken High School.
“This is an extremely aggressive construction list. Typically, you’re not going to have a school district, especially one of this size, undergoing this many projects at one time,” said Dr. Corey Murphy, the school district’s chief officer of operations and student services.
“Because projects are interrelated, if you have so many on a bond referendum, everything has to come in on budget in order for the next project to go properly. If not you’re going to go over budget, so one thing can throw two or three other projects off.”
The pricing of the current construction projects ranges between $1.5 million and $18 million, Murphy said. Due to the rise in raw materials used to build schools and do renovations,