GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A major push is underway to bring a high school back to north Greenville County.
Slater-Marietta High School closed in the 1970’s, forcing students to travel miles to the next closest public high school.
People in this community told 7NEWS, that they were promised another one would be back but it’s not and they want that to change.
The yearbooks for Slater-Marietta High School hold a lot of memories. Especially for people in the community like Vanessa McFarland’s family.
“My mother went to Slater-Marietta High School along with many people I live around. I went to elementary school here, my brother and I,” Vanessa McFarland told us.
McFarland add even her own kids went there.
But it wasn’t always an elementary school. It was a high school. In fact, the only option for north Greenville County residents.
“We want to give the rural people good education because it’s going to keep the rural areas, rural,” said Gina Norris Hinton, President of the Slater-Marietta Community Association.
But Gina Norris Hinton with the Slater-Marietta Community Association said it closed in the early 1970’s, as students merged with Travelers Rest High School.
“For some, it’s almost an hour drive. Our lines go all the way up to the North Carolina lines,” Norris Hinton explained.
On top of some high school students and their families now having to drive miles to school, Greenville County Councilman Joe Dill said the population there is growing. He believes now is the time for a high school to open again to keep up with the demand.
“New housing, new subdivisions from Travelers Rest all the way to the North Carolina line. This is creating a situation where the school district is going to need to do some kind of long-range plan, as to how they’re going to address all the long-term growth,” said Greenville County Councilman, Joe Dill.
McFarland agrees. Her family knows that high school commute all too well.
“It takes us 30 minutes to get to school and back. I rode the school bus when I was in school, it was a two hour ride in the morning and a two hour ride in the afternoon,” McFarland told 7NEWS.
Plus, she loves where she lives and hopes one day, her family can once again call themselves, Slater-Marietta High School alumni.
“I’ve been here 44 years. I don’t have plans on leaving, I hope my kids stick around,” said McFarland.
School board members with the Greenville County School District have said they will take these concerns into consideration. Councilman Joe Dill said what’s next in all of this is waiting for the district to come back with their long-range facilities plan.