Waccamaw EOC to resume work on Choppee center

The Waccamaw Economic Opportunity has announced it will resume work on the Choppee Head Start Center in Georgetown County.

The federal government stopped work on the center last year when it discovered that construction had been started before the agency’s board of directors had approved the contract for it.

The work stoppage came after more than year of chaos at the agency, where illegal closed door meetings were routine and the board’s top officers withheld information from other board members.

The board was also found to be operating outside state regulations and resisted the state’s efforts to get it back on track.

State and federal oversight agencies threatened to close the agency unless its problems were resolved.

The board learned from the media that work had started on the center with no contract and threw board chairman Zacharius Grate and first vice chairman David Eagleton off the board in mid-July 2011 for engineering the scheme. They were found to be guilty of dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming a board member.

Approximately $300,000 was spent on the center before work was stopped.

Since then, the board has worked to rebuild the agency’s credibility and reputation.

The EOC has scheduled a Nov. 13 celebration at the site to mark the consttruction restart.