CONWAY — Horry County Schools and Coastal Carolina University officials broke ground Tuesday for a new building that, after 10 years, will give the Scholars Academy program a home of its own.
The Scholars Academy is a partnership between the Horry County School District and CCU, and is designed for advanced learners who enter the program in ninth grade and attend school on the CCU campus. Students take a combination of high school and college courses, and graduate with a high school diploma and as much as two years of college course credits.
“Now we get to be a bit more unified,” said Scholars sophomore Linda James. “It makes us really feel like we’re an actual school.”
The district has a long-term lease with CCU for the land on which the state-of-the-art building will stand. It will have 20,500 square feet and be located on Chanticleer Drive, just a stone’s throw from Baxley Hall, where the academy currently has use of the second floor. The project will cost about $7.5 million, funded by the penny sales tax dedicated to education in Horry County, and the building is expected to be ready by spring 2014, said Matt Dean, the district’s construction management director.
Scholars Principal Renn Dominguez told the crowd that the new building feels like a vote of confidence for what they do, and sophomore Kalila Courban said it feels like a reward for all their hard work, but for Patrick Barnes, it was more definitive.
“It means we are here to stay,” he said.
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.