New Construction

S.C. District Breaks Ground on New Middle School

Officials from Spartanburg School District Five in Duncan, S.C., gathered recently to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new middle school. The construction work began about four weeks after local voters passed a $295 bond referendum to meet the needs of rising enrollment in the district’s schools.

The groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Nov. 29, marked the first major step of a series of renovation and construction projects for the district.

“We have several renovations. We have several additions and then several new construction projects taking place as part of the successful referendum that we had a couple of weeks ago,” said Greg Wood, Assistant Superintendent for Operations for District Five.

As of August 2021, District Five has an enrollment of about 9,800 students—an increase of 700 since the end of the previous school year, and an increase of 1,000 since the end of 2019. “We’re definitely the fastest-growing district in the county, and probably one of the fastest in the state, percentage-wise,” said Spartanburg School District Five Superintendent Dr. Randall Gary. “We’re expecting to be right around 11,000 students by the year 2026.”

In addition to the new middle school, projects scheduled for completion under the referendum include a new school for Wellford Academy; a new elementary school; and renovations and additions to Byrnes High School, Beech Springs Intermediate; Berry Shoals Intermediate and Reidville Elementary. It also includes a restructuring of the school system to eliminate intermediate schools, with plans to convert Beech Springs into a middle school and Berry Shoals into an elementary.

The district is partnering with Harper Construction on the project’s first step: building a new middle school. David Wise, president of Harper Construction, spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. “When we start moving dirt out here, we are going to be moving 300,000 cubic yards of dirt on our site to my rear,” he said. “We are going to set 757 tons of structural steel, bar joist and metal decking. There will be about 220,000 bricks that will be laid on this project and over 1,000 cubic yards of concrete.”

The new middle school will have capacity for about 700 students. District leaders said that they estimate all renovations and new construction projects to be complete by August 2024.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].