Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012

The School Board has approved the purchase of a 26.8-acre site in the CUICAR-Millennium Campus for the construction of a middle school scheduled to open in August 2014.

The new school will relieve overcrowding at Beck, Bryson, Hillcrest, Mauldin, and Riverside middle schools. The school’s attendance plan will be announced in spring 2013.

The property is owned by Mr. Clifford Rosen, who initiated the development of the CUICAR-Millennium Campus. He has generously offered to sell the property at $75,000 an acre, a price significantly less than the value of similar properties of comparable size in the immediate area.

The specifics of the purchase will be released in February or March once the agreement is finalized and the district completes environmental and engineering studies and title research, and receives approval from various state agencies. No further information will be released until that time.

“We are very appreciative of Mr. Rosen’s generosity and support of our students, schools and community,” said Board Chairman Roger Meek. “We now have an excellent site for this innovative school addition to our school system and community.”

“The school will be based on a projects-based curriculum that will encompass the sciences, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics,” said District Superintendent Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher. “The school’s instructional focus will promote partnerships with local industries and businesses in or near CUICAR such as Sage Automotive, GE Turbine, Hubbell Lighting, BMW, and TD Bank, and with Clemson University, local hospital systems, and other private and public entities.”

The instructional program will drive the design of the facility, which will be constructed to serve up to 750 students. Plans also include possible expansion to serve up to 1,000 students. School district instructional and facilities staffs are working together to design a school to support the education program and to provide a facility that is sustainable and flexible.

The property provides an ideal location for a middle school. The site is centrally located in the county, served by four lanes of traffic, water, sewer, gas and storm water retention systems, and provides easy access to Laurens and Woodruff roads, I-85, and I-385. The property’s zoning use includes schools.

The middle school was planned to be constructed on the old J.L. Mann High School site with athletic fields built on property to be purchased. However, use of the additional property was limited due to zoning restrictions so the administration began looking for other options. Old J.L. Mann High School will be demolished later this school year and the property will remain in the school district’s inventory.
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