Recently I have seen pictures of new government and college buildings such as the new Carolina Forest library and the new dental lab at the Horry-Georgetown Technical College. I look at these and wonder why taxpayer money is wasted on such exorbitant architecture.
We are short money for teachers, police, firefighters and even people to operate the Carolina Forest library, yet we spend millions more than necessary to build buildings that go beyond common sense.
I have been in construction and construction management for 40 years and have talked with many people throughout many states. Designs in South Carolina are much more elaborate than North Carolina. We spend much more on architectural aspects that reflect someone’s subjective opinion on the buildings appearance when much more simple buildings could be constructed for huge savings.
We live in a hurricane area and yet these buildings have a substantial amount of unnecessary glass. The dental building appears to have a glass wall. Now, if that glass is not impact-rated, how will it be protected and at what cost? If it is impact-rated, the cost is extravagant!
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A simple brick wall with normal windows and normal ceiling heights would be more appropriate. Individuals in the business in North Carolina state that when they bid a building in South Carolina, the cost is always substantially more just because of the brick arrangement. Study after study shows that our students are in the bottom half of the learning scale when compared nationally and yet what we spend per student is in the top half.
Obviously these magnificent looking buildings are not improving our student’s education. A well groomed basic building that meets the requirements of today would better serve our students. You can argue all you want about construction cost, but I can prove to anyone that this type of construction that is being done is much more expensive than it needs to be. We need to stop wasting money and start putting that money to better use to support our children.
The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.