HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — A multi-million dollar announcement that local leaders believe could change the future of Hampton County students and residents.
“Hampton County is going to get a new high school. We are going to build a school,” said Hannah Priester.
Schoolboard Chairperson Hannah Priester’s excitement was echoed by the hundreds of teachers, students, and parents in the stands at Wade Hampton High School Thursday.
That’s because it was the place for the announcement that could brighten all of their futures.
“Fifty-two million dollars. Whoa!”
That’s how South Carolina School Superintendent Molly Spearman told the crowd the District is getting $52 million to build a brand new high school.
“I’m so thankful that our General Assembly has realized they must help in rural areas that don’t have the local tax base that our students deserve,” Spearman said.
This money is part of a $240 million spending spree statewide for counties that couldn’t afford the construction costs otherwise.
It’s something that local legislators say means more than just improved classrooms.
“When people look at bring their families, their industries, their companies small or big to our area, education is one of the big factors they look at,” said Rep. Shedron Williams from South Carolina House District 122.
“And with this coming and scores increasing and affordable housing, you heard me speak about earlier. Teacher increases. This is definitely going to cut some more lights on for Hampton County.”
Hampton County was once two school districts but now has consolidated into one.
Soon, Wade Hampton and Estill High School will join as one at the new campus on Highway 601. A place where students will have new opportunities to improve their future.
“We are looking at HVAC programs. We are looking at hydroponic, agricultural type programs,” explained Dr. Ron Wilcox, Hampton County School Superintendent. We are looking at computer-based programs because there is so much we realize that relies on technology.”
“We need additional programs in our vocational area,” Wilcox continued. “We need classrooms that are comfortable, an environment that is friendly and safe for the children to attend school. But more than anything we want a school that kids can be proud of and we are going to build that here.”
The next step is getting an architect and a full school design. The belief is the school system could break ground as soon as March and the school itself could be in place by 2025 or 2026.