By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the Darlington community joined the Darlington County Board of Education and DCSD superintendent Tim Newman for an August 28 groundbreaking ceremony to formally kick off construction of a new elementary school.
The new facility will combine Cain Elementary and Brunson-Dargan Elementary into a spacious new school, to be constructed on Cain’s First Street campus.
“We’re really excited and grateful to be able to start this new elementary school in the Darlington area. It’s what’s best for our kids, it’s what’s best for our community, and I can’t wait to see the end result,” said Newman.
The school is one of three new elementary schools DCSD plans to construct with proceeds from a $60 million bond referendum approved by Darlington County voters in 2016.
The other schools will be located in Hartsville (combining Washington Street and West Hartsville Elementary) and Lamar (combining Spaulding and Lamar Elementary). Construction of these schools should occur on a simultaneous, slightly staggered schedule, with all three set to open around the end of 2019.
The new Cain school will host up to 600 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and the campus footprint has enough space to add on six more classrooms to accommodate future growth.
Classrooms will feature art and creative spaces, modern technology like smart boards and new lighting, and will provide areas for group projects and collaborative learning – all factors which Newman said will enhance the learning
“When you put students in modern spaces that have all the technology, the different areas to learn in, different lighting, different sized corridors, it shows the commitment we have to helping our kids learn in the twenty-first century,” said Newman.
Newman added that he hopes the district can use this momentum to continue evaluating and modernizing all of its schools.
“We need to be looking at the next five, ten, twenty years and have the plan in place for all of our buildings. The majority of our buildings are fifty to sixty years old, so we have to put a plan in place because our students deserve to learn in safe, secure, modern buildings,” Newman said.