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Rock Hill schools on track for 2002

The Class of 2006 will become the first – the first to graduate from a new Rock Hill High School.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

The Class of 2006 will become the first – the first to graduate from a new Rock Hill High School. "It’s moving along, with a completion date of next spring," Rock Hill superintendent Lloyd Evans said, discussing the district’s construction project this week.

"We’re not interested in trying to move classes just for the last month or two of school, so we plan on starting classes (in new buildings) in the fall of 2002," Evans said.

That means the first graduating class to spend an entire four years at the new Rock Hill High will receive their diplomas in 2006.

The construction project, which will give Rock Hill students the new high schools and a new consolidated elementary school, as well as renovate the current high school building into a middle school, will cost more than $40 million. Groundbreaking was held in December 1999.

Once complete, more space and state-of-the-art technology will bring exciting possibilities, Evans said.

Unlike now, all school buildings will have Internet access, computers in every room, at least 900-square-foot classrooms, 1,200-square-foot labs.

"It will be quite a big and exciting change," Evans said. "Both the high school and elementary will have sufficient room to allow for some growth."

Also, that room for growth will mean extra room to make some classes smaller in the immediate future, too, he said.

In addition to electrical and inside work at the new buildings, construction crews have worked all summer on renovations to the current high school, which will become the new middle school. Work included new heating and air conditioning, removal of old heat registers, renovated stairwells, floor tile replacement and other work.

Throughout the school year other work will occur out of the way of students, like the 1,000-square-foot addition on the back of the library, Evans said.

There are also plans to remodel the high school kitchen.

Buildings are not the only new facilities at the Rock Hill campus. A new track and football field has been laid out, with lights and some structures installed already. The facility is not scheduled for use until the fall of 2002.

Although construction has been funded by state dollars and a new tax levy, Rock Hill taxpayers will see that change.

A tax break agreement with Duke Energy, the company planning to build a natural gas fired power plant in Hamilton Township, will mean a lump sum payment to Rock Hill and other government taxing entities.

"They’re to give us a sum sufficient to pay off the bond indebtedness," Evans said, adding that the school board approved the agreement at last week’s meeting.

When that bond is paid off, officials expect Rock Hill’s 3.78 mills to come off the tax rolls.