BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) — Voters in Beaufort County made history at the polls on Tuesday by pushing through a historic investment from the Beaufort County Schools.
“They need to have the support of the people here to make this an area that the schools are going to thrive,” said Michael Ciavolino, a Bluffton voter.
That support was the message that Beaufort County voters overwhelmingly sent on election day. 72% of voters approved the project meant to modernize and improve schools.
It’s the largest investment in the school district’s history with a price tag of $439 million to be spent on schools across the county.
The district’s superintendent said the sweeping support behind the past two bond referendums, shows how important education is to the people who live here.
“That’s a signal really that that the community values public education and you know is supportive of the school district and the work of enhancing our facilities to support our children reaching their highest potential,” said Dr. Frank Rodriguez, Beaufort County School District Superintendent.
A big chunk of that money is split between two projects: $56 million for a new K-5 school near May River High School and $167 million to rebuild Hilton Head Island High School. New and improved schools will also help with overcrowding at many schools in the county.
“To help alleviate the overcrowding that’s experienced at Pritchardville and then some of the other schools in Bluffton, too, are, you know, right around 90, 91% capacity,” Rodriguez said.
The projects will also get input from parents and residents through its oversight committee. He hopes that people who voted against the investment, know that their money will be well-spent.
“I’m incredibly grateful to our community for supporting public education and for doing so overwhelmingly in the manner in which they did,” Rodriguez said. “It allows us to get to work on providing and improving learning environments for children.”
Right now, the school district is putting the final touches on a some leftover projects from it’s 2019 bond referendum. However, the school district plans to start construction on a few projects by next summer.