- Spartanburg District Five
Board Of Trustees Votes To Move Forward With Bond Referendum
Spartanburg District Five Schools will go to voters with a “No Tax Increase” bond referendum in the November 2021 general election, to help fund the district’s enormous enrollment growth and its impact on schools and facilities.
The announcement comes after District Five’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday evening to place the referendum question before voters on the November 2 ballot.
THE BEST NEWS: THE REFERENDUM WILL NOT INCREASE TAXES FOR DISTRICT FIVE TAXPAYERS. Instead, it will ask voters permission for the district to borrow beyond its allowable debt limit, something that is restricted in South Carolina without voter approval. If passed, the referendum would allow District Five to borrow additional funds, addressing its growth by building new schools, while renovating and adding on to existing campuses.
The referendum comes at a critical time in the history of District Five Schools. Just a week into the 2021-22 school year, the district has experienced the single highest annual enrollment increase in its HISTORY, with nearly 700 more students filling district classrooms, compared to last year. As of Monday, 9,738 students are enrolled in District Five schools, making it the fastest growing school district in Spartanburg County.
That growth has placed a tremendous strain on District Five’s schools and buildings. According to a 2019 facilities and demographic study, and a recent update, 10 of the district’s 12 schools will be “at or over capacity” by 2024-25, if the District does not address the need. More recent demographic projections also predict the district will surpass 11,000 students by 2025-26.
The district’s growth plan calls for two brand new schools, one elementary and one middle, increasing the total number of schools in District Five from 12 to 14. It also includes several other key improvements: rebuilding and increasing the capacity of Wellford Academy (the district’s oldest elementary school), increasing the capacity of Reidville Elementary School, and renovating and completing several new additions to the Byrnes High School campus. Finally, the plan would eliminate the intermediate school concept, converting current intermediate schools into new campuses, and moving the district towards a more traditional elementary (Kindergarten-5th grade) and middle school (6th-8th grade) structure.