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IRMO — With renovations to the Chapin High School athletic stadium and a wing of Irmo High School already set in motion, voters in the Lexington-Richland Five school district will decide on a $150 million bond for more construction projects.The 17,000 student district — serving parts of Columbia, Chapin and Irmo — is putting $8 million into the Chapin High School stadium and $50 million into the west wing of Irmo High.But those are separate from any projects completed over the next five years if people vote &l...
IRMO — With renovations to the Chapin High School athletic stadium and a wing of Irmo High School already set in motion, voters in the Lexington-Richland Five school district will decide on a $150 million bond for more construction projects.
The 17,000 student district — serving parts of Columbia, Chapin and Irmo — is putting $8 million into the Chapin High School stadium and $50 million into the west wing of Irmo High.
But those are separate from any projects completed over the next five years if people vote “yes” on the bond referendum, board Vice Chairman Ken Loveless said at a May 9 meeting.
“These two projects we just presented are done with or without the bond,” board Chairwoman Jan Hammond said to Loveless. “I don’t know why that got confused, but thank you for bringing that up.”
Under the proposed bond plan, the district would fix schools in poor condition, including some in the areas of Chapin, Irmo and Dutch Fork — which covers parts of both Lexington and Richland counties. Ross cited a 2019 study by Columbia-based M.B. Kahn construction firm that rated building conditions.
“There’s a lot of different things you can do to rate schools, and you can disagree with the methodology,” Ross said, “but three of our high schools are in the top 15 in the state, and we believe all of our high schools should be there.”
Another plan for the bond is using $20.9 million to split the sixth grade CrossRoads Intermediate School into two sixth grade academies, one at Dutch Fork Middle School and one at Irmo Middle school, between 2023 and 2025.
The district also wants to remodel Nursery Road Elementary School in 2025 for $21 million, moving students to the CrossRoads campus on St. Andrews Road while the project is completed.
Once those students are back at Nursery Road, in 2027, the district would sell the Harbison West Elementary School building for $3 million and move those students to the CrossRoads campus permanently.
Regardless of the bond, the district plans to add 2,500 seats to the Chapin stadium for a total of 6,500 — standard for Class 5A football team and for hosting playoff games — along with revamped restrooms and new press box, concession stand and locker rooms. A spokeswoman said the district hopes to complete the project by August 2023.
As for the Irmo High wing, there is no clear completion date yet. But district Superintendent Akil Ross said the idea behind the project is to create a “small business incubator” for students in an effort to highlight post-high school options other than college.
“We’re going to give access to the economy right now by allowing students to open up their own businesses while they’re at school,” Ross said, “to learn their business models, to work on payrolls, to handle finance.”
Ross said he and the board want feedback from the community before moving forward with the Irmo school addition. He invited parents to attend a meeting on May 18 in the school’s auditorium to give their input on a scaled model of the project.
The decisions to renovate the Chapin stadium and add the Irmo wing are final.
After board members hear community input on how to prioritize the proposed bond projects, they will vote in June to put the referendum on the ballot. The board will then have have until Aug. 15 to do so.
Of the changes the district could make with the bond funds, the most controversial is moving students at Harbison West Elementary School to the CrossRoads Intermediate campus. The superintendent pointed to a lack of science labs and art spaces at Harbison West as a reason for this.
“It’s not the best decision, but it was a reason that (Harbison West) received a poor rating,” the superintendent said.
Other bond plans for the next five years include a $3.5 million renovation of the CrossRoads Early Childhood Education Center, a $41 million new Dutch Fork Elementary School, a $26 million fine arts center for Chapin High, $2.9 million renovations to Dutch Fork High, $3.9 million renovations to the stadiums at both Dutch Fork and Irmo High and $1.6 million districtwide security upgrades.
Ross said nothing is set in stone yet. There will be a virtual forum on May 17 — the day before the community meeting about the Irmo High wing project — to hear feedback regarding the bond.
Board member Tifani Moore suggested hosting another feedback session, but on a weekend, for people whose work schedules may not allow them the time or internet access to tune in during the week.
“We’d just be able to reach out and really get the town involved,” Moore said. “That’s a lot of changes, and as representatives we definitely want to make sure that we’re including everybody.”
The board did not specify any other plans for community feedback at the May 9 meeting.
National Weather Service survey teams will investigate three possible tornado tracks in The T&D Region to determine if the storms caused any damage.Two of the tracks were in Orangeburg County and one was in Calhoun County.While radar indicated there were tornadoes in the area, that does not necessarily mean tornadoes touched down and caused any damage.Orangeburg County Emergency Services reported some trees down in the North area, but there were no reports of significant damage.The S.C. Highway Patrol reported...
National Weather Service survey teams will investigate three possible tornado tracks in The T&D Region to determine if the storms caused any damage.
Two of the tracks were in Orangeburg County and one was in Calhoun County.
While radar indicated there were tornadoes in the area, that does not necessarily mean tornadoes touched down and caused any damage.
Orangeburg County Emergency Services reported some trees down in the North area, but there were no reports of significant damage.
The S.C. Highway Patrol reported trees down in the roadway at the intersection of Cannon Bridge Road and McMillan Road, near Rowesville.
There were no reports of damage in Calhoun or Bamberg counties.
The National Weather Service began warning of the storms late Wednesday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, the storm paths that will be investigated include:
• A storm that began in the southeastern portion of the town of Elko in Barnwell County and traveled east-northeast before entering into Orangeburg County and crossing over Willow Swamp Road and Bull Branch.
The storm then traveled due east over Mell Wright Road near Bushy Pond Baptist Church before lifting up and reaching the Norway Fire Department and the town of Norway.
• A storm originating in Aiken County southwest of Wagener and traveling northeast before entering Orangeburg County near Woodford around Pinegrove Road.
The storm traveled east over Bull Swamp Creek, Lightning Hill Road and Redmond Mill Road before going past New First Mount Beulah Baptist Church on Gardners Farm Road. The storm lifted up before getting to Horses Neck Road.
• A storm beginning on Sturkie Road in Calhoun County and traveling northeast, crossing over Kennerly Road, Caw Caw Swamp, Columbia Road, Ott Sisters Road, Interstate 26 near Alaglass Pools, Crider Pond Road and Old State Road just north of Hammond Crossroads, before lifting up just past Calhoun Road near Copperhead Road.
National Weather Service officials said preliminary information on the storms will most likely be made available Thursday evening or Friday.
The strong storms were caused by a cold front moving through the area.
Looking ahead, temperatures are expected to be slightly above normal across the area through the rest of the week into the weekend.
High temperatures will be in the 60s with lows generally in the 40s. The next chance of rain showers will be Tuesday of next week.
Some schools around the state have adopted a system called a "grading floor," similar to a grading curve, in which children cannot bring home lower than a 50 or 60.WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some parents in Lexington-Richland School District 5 discovered a "grading floor" that has sparked mixed feelings district wide.In a Facebook post a mother explained that Crossr...
Some schools around the state have adopted a system called a "grading floor," similar to a grading curve, in which children cannot bring home lower than a 50 or 60.
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some parents in Lexington-Richland School District 5 discovered a "grading floor" that has sparked mixed feelings district wide.
In a Facebook post a mother explained that Crossroads Intermediate School does not give grades lower than a 50 on report cards.
This sparked more than 100 replies from other parents. Some confused why only a few schools have a grading floor, while others were able to give kids lower failing grades.
We brought the concerns to Lexington-Richland 5 Board Chair Jan Hammond, who says this policy has actually been in place for a while.
"I know this all started under Molly Spearman, and it's not really anything new," Hammond explained. "But, I can see how people would be surprised by it."
Derek Phillips with the South Carolina Department of Educations says its up to each school to decide.
"The district has to adopt the policy, but ultimately it's up to each individual school in the district to decide whether or not they want to implement a grading floor," Phillips explained.
The State Board of Education explained that the grading floors are a common practice spanning from the Greenville school district all the way up to Charleston and into midlands districts as well.
Although Jan Hammond is a school board member for Lexington Richland 5, she also works as a teacher in Lexington School District Two, and says the school she teaches at has a grading floor. As a teacher, she sees both sides of the issue.
"I do sometimes dread putting in that 50 at the end of a semester when I know a kid is doing worse than that, but also I know that there are some kids who are struggling and really need that extra boost, so I can see how this grading can help them," Hammond said.
Both Hammond and the State Board of Education ask that parents keep constant track of their children's progress so they are not being notified of a failing grade at the end of a semester when a 50 shows up on a report card.
To see if your child's school uses a grading floor, you can ask their teachers or look for a grading policy section on their school's website.
HAMMOND — In May 2021 the city announced plans for a $45 million destination YMCA. Prices have gone up over the past 20 months, but the project is steadily moving forward."This will be a destination YMCA that will just continue to revitalize and excite that area," Crossroads YMCA CEO Jay...
HAMMOND — In May 2021 the city announced plans for a $45 million destination YMCA. Prices have gone up over the past 20 months, but the project is steadily moving forward.
"This will be a destination YMCA that will just continue to revitalize and excite that area," Crossroads YMCA CEO Jay Buckmaster said Tuesday during a Hammond Redevelopment Commission meeting.
Buckmaster said the cost of the two-phase project is at $65 million to 70 million. The Y has raised about $50 million so far.
The Hammond Destination YMCA will be at the former Woodmar Mall site next to the Hammond Sportsplex.
Work on the first phase of the project is slated to begin in May. It will tackle the 120,000-square-foot indoor facility, which will feature group exercise studios, gyms, youth and adult programming spaces, indoor turf and two pools.
One of the indoor pools will be a zero-depth-entry warm-water pool complete with slides, a kids area and a vortex pool that contains a current. Buckmaster said the vortex pool is perfect for different kinds of physical therapy and water walking. The second indoor pool will be a six-lane lap pool.
The indoor facility is expected to be complete in December 2024, he said, calling it "a great Christmas present" for the city of Hammond and surrounding communities. The destination Y will have "all the things a community would need to stay healthy and vibrant."
Phase 2, which Buckmaster hopes will begin in May 2024, will consist of an outdoor water park with lap lanes and two "run-out" slides that will be separate from the main pool. One will be an open body slide; the other will be fully enclosed.
The Y also completed a $10 million expansion at the Hammond YMCA, 7322 Southeastern Ave. Before the renovation, Buckmaster said, the Hammond Y had about 5,000 members and now it has close to 15,000. The new YMCA will be about three times larger and is expected to have 40,000 to 45,000 members.
Buckmaster said the activities and features offered at the Hammond Ys will complement one another.
The Hammond RDC unanimously determined Tuesday that both phases of the destination YMCA are in compliance with the Woodmar Area Redevelopment Plan. Commissioner Greg Myricks said the Y will work well with the Sportsplex.
"This will be a very good complement for family-friendly activities concentrated in one area," he said.
The city is contributing $10 million to the project. Those interested in partnering with the Y can learn more at crymca.org/hammonddestinationymca; Buckmaster said any gaps in funding will be covered by the YMCA.
American wholesale provider Digital Crossroad has enlisted data center service company T5 Data Centers to manage its campus in Hammond, Indiana.Digital Crossroad is planning a 1.7 million square foot (157,935 square meter) campus to lease, to lease to enterprises, cloud and colocation providers in the Chicago area. It currently has a start, with 108,000 square feet (10,033 square meters, including office space).Phase 1The DX Campus is being developed ...
American wholesale provider Digital Crossroad has enlisted data center service company T5 Data Centers to manage its campus in Hammond, Indiana.
Digital Crossroad is planning a 1.7 million square foot (157,935 square meter) campus to lease, to lease to enterprises, cloud and colocation providers in the Chicago area. It currently has a start, with 108,000 square feet (10,033 square meters, including office space).
The DX Campus is being developed on a former coal plant site on the border between Indiana and Illinois, and has been in the works for just over two years, after Amazon passed up on the chance to turn it into its new headquarters, choosing to build HQ2 in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia instead.
Digital Crossroad will switch the first 20MW of capacity on at the end of October, with the remaining data centers, each spanning 100,000 square feet, to be built incrementally in line with demand.
When the project was announced in 2018, it was said that the developers wanted the campus to be a start-up incubator – offering affordable space, shared offices, and other types of support to nascent companies, though it is unclear whether they intend to pursue this endeavor.
It has however delivered on one of its commitments, which was to build on-site solar power generation, as well as a free water cooling system using water from Lake Michigan.
Because it is located outside of Illinois, customers seeking a spot on the campus will benefit from attractive tax incentives not available in the city of Chicago, which is just twelve miles away from the plant.
The company’s website reads: “The site offers a blanket sales tax exemption for up to 50 years on all your IT hardware, software, and electricity, with no minimum investment threshold.”
Digital Crossroad said it is seeking a network of partners to offer customers the data center services they require, allowing them to "maximize the advantages that Indiana has” in terms of its “commitment to creating a strong national data center industry, creating operational excellence and exempting energy and equipment purchases from sales tax.”
Meanwhile, Steve Holland, senior VP of data center facility management and operations for T5 said that the company looks forward “to applying our deep-rooted operational experience in this market," hoping that “the data center campus in Hammond will solidify Indiana as a top-tier data center market.”