Anderson Co. Dist. 1 voters approve $109m bond referendum

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UPDATE: Voters in Anderson County School District One voted Tuesday to approve a $109 million bond referendum.

The bond will be used to help build two new middle schools and make other improvements in the district.

Full vote results:

Yes: 3,115 (75.24%)
No: 1,025 (24.76%)

Voter turnout for the referendum was 12.2%.

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ANDERSON Co., SC (WSPA) –  The northeast corner of Anderson County is one of the fastest growing areas in Upstate.  While many people are looking to move to the area for the school district that district is trying to balance the growth with deteriorating facilities.

“I want my children to have the best education opportunity they have available to them and facilities is just part of the solution, we already have great teachers, great curriculum, but we need great facilities as well,” said Sid Collins who is a concerned parent.

The Anderson One School Board has a $132 million dollar plan to build two new middle schools, improve security and make other additions.

“They have set aside $20 million dollars of local sales tax money over the next five years for the building plan and then $3 million from the general fund to be used for the facilities,” Superintendent Robbie Binnicker said.

The remaining $109 million would come from a bond referendum if approved by the taxpayers.

Voters across the area came to the polls on Tuesday to vote yes or no for the referendum.

Some voters at the polls tell 7News they voted no becasue they don’t want their taxes to increase while others said the referendum is investing in the schools, which in turn helps their property values.

“There is nothing more important than education and in order to have a good education you have to have good teachers and a good environment,” said Dick Mims who voted for the referendum.

Since the district is in the middle of one of the fastest growing areas in the Upstate, adding more students to the current structures could be another problem.

“We’ve gone from 7,600 students to 10,000 students if that were to maintain we would grow another 3,000 students and we already have facilities at or near capacity,” Binnicker said.

Without these upgrades and new buildings, some parents said there is no permanent fix.

While raising taxes is never the goal, the school officials believe it is the best solution and will find out if the referendum passes after the votes are counted.

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