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Superintendent schedules ten public forums about school bond referendum

Thursday, September 7, 2023

BEAUFORT – Beaufort County School District Superintendent Frank Rodriguez has scheduled ten public forums to brief parents and community members on the school district’s $439 million bond referendum set for Nov. 7.

A bond referendum isn't just about buildings; it's about providing our students with the learning environment they need. 

Dr. Frank Rodriguez

“A bond referendum isn't just about buildings; it's about providing our students with the learning environment they need. Our students of today will be the leaders and innovators of tomorrow,” Rodriguez said. “These informational sessions offer a platform for us to openly communicate details of the bond referendum and provide clarity on how the funds will be allocated.”

All meetings are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.:  

  • September 11, St. Helena Island Elementary School
  • September 12, Battery Creek High School
  • September 14, Beaufort High School
  • September 18, Hilton Head Island High School
  • September 28, Bluffton High School
  • October 5, Whale Branch Early College High School
  • October 9, Spanish-language session, Hilton Head Island Middle School
  • October 10, May River High School
  • October 12, Spanish-language session, Bluffton Middle School
  • October 24, Spanish-language session, Robert Smalls Leadership Academy

Following the successful 2019 referendum, a second volunteer Community Project Review Committee was formed (CPRC 2.0) to assess remaining needs. Once CPRC 2.0 submitted their recommended list of projects, the Board of Education further refined the priorities, approving a $439 million referendum for Nov. 7.

The referendum is targeted to address a variety of issues related to school facilities:

  • Safety and security upgrades.
  • Building maintenance and structural problems due to advancing age. 
  • Upgrading facilities at Lady’s Island Middle School and Hilton Head Island High School.
  • Hundreds of new students projected to enroll in district schools.
  • Expanding classroom space and resources for Career and Technology Education courses.

Voters will consider one ballot question.  If the Question is approved, there will be safety and security enhancements in all schools; a rebuild of Hilton Head Island High School; Lady’s Island Middle school replacement; a new Early Childhood Center; a new PreK-5 elementary school in Bluffton; Riverview Charter School gymnasium; CTE renovations and additions; technology warehouse imaging center; HVAC replacements; a kitchen for Right Choices; and additional improvements. 

If voters approve the referendum on Nov. 7, Rodriguez said the district will continue the use of the Community Led Oversight Committee (CLOC), a broad-based committee of community members who will monitor all expenditures of referendum-related construction funds.  This committee submits regular public reports that are archived on the school district’s website.  In addition, all referendum funds will be part of the district’s independent external audits.