School trustees voted 5-4 Tuesday evening to build the new Cherokee Technology Center on leased property on the Spartanburg Community College campus.
The district has budgeted $20 million from a $60 million building program referendum towards building a replacement for Cherokee Technology Center, which opened in 1968. SCC President Henry Giles had suggested the district could lease 10 acres and build its Cherokee Technology Center next to the college’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies (CAMIT) building.
School trustees chose to accept the college’s offer following an hour meeting in executive session to discuss different options for new school sites, including the college campus and purchase of property adjacent to the Gaffney High campus.
Trustees Billy Blackwell, Robin Duncan Harper, Tracy Moore and J.J. Sarratt Jr. voted against building on the Spartanburg Community College.
The school board authorized superintendent Dr. Quincie Moore to negotiate terms for the district to lease college land for the new Cherokee Technology Center. One proposal involves a 99-year lease on the Spartanburg Community College site.
A 14-member business advisory council formed by superintendent Dr. Quincie Moore recommended the school board build the career and technology center in February on the Spartanburg Community College (SCC) campus in Gaffney.
"We have weighed the numerous options of potential sites for the new center and have determined that this is the choice we support," said John Milko, manager of the The Timken Company's Gaffney Bearing Plant. "For reasons such as improved economic development, increased opportunities for students beyond high school, and the opportunity to expand programs and share costs, this choice is the right one.
Thank you for putting the students in Cherokee County School District first and maximizing local partnerships to provide a world-class education for our students."
Cherokee Technology Center serves 20 percent of the student population at both Blacksburg and Gaffney high schools. Blacksburg High students represent 130 of the 600 students currently attending the career and technology center.
There was no controversy when it came to the new B.D. Lee Elementary.
School trustees voted unanimously to build the new B.D. Lee Elementary on the existing school site.
Architects presented school trustees with several design concepts for the new elementary school, which will include an early childhood learning center. The new school could front Montgomery or Buford streets. Another option involves the school being built in a corner of the existing property.
The exact location will be determined once architects get into design work on the elementary school, which will include an early childhood learning center.
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