The Horry County Board of Education passed a motion throwing out design plans for five new schools.
The board voted Monday during their regular meeting to remove the five new schools from current conceptual design plans, leaving six schools ready for remodeling or additions. The board stated they needed time to request and review energy-efficient designs before approving any new construction projects.
“By doing this, we will not negatively impact the August 2017 delivery date of the schools,” said Neil James, vice chairman.
The motion passed 7-2, with Harvey Eisner and John Poston voting nay and Janet Graham recusing her vote.
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“We are waiting a little bit, but we’re going to get there quicker,” said Chairman Joe Defeo.
The county has closed architectural bids and canceled the current ones that had been submitted.
The board’s Committee of the Whole spent more than an hour and a half last month discussing the bidding process and financial plan for a 10-year building plan that officials hope will be complete in two years.
“We owe it to the people of Horry County to save them tens of thousands of dollars, if we can,” said Pam Timms, District 6 representative.
The schools will go back to the bidding process, but first Horry County Schools must design contracts for these new schools and select a bidding method.
The board also approved issuing “refunding” bonds to support construction of new Horry County schools.
Issuing these bonds means the board can build and renovate several new schools without raising millage rates or issuing a referendum. The refunding will allow Horry County to profit from eight percent of current bonds, which will be paid of between 2024-25. The bonds will provide $488.5 million of funding.
The board unanimously approved the Conceptual Design Plan in September, and the architectural bidding process for the new schools was closed last month.
In June, board member Jeffrey Garland proposed a 10-year, pay-as-you-go plan for several projects, which include four new schools and renovations, additions or replacement facilities to six others. The board approved the original $427.6 million budget in April, and previously approved the designs of Aynor Middle School, North Myrtle Beach High School, and the Horry County Education Center.
The plan totals $464.6 million and includes 10 projects across the county, according to John Gardner, chief financial officer for the district.