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School District Five Board approves final measure to begin construction on new elementary school

The Lexington-Richland School District Five Board of Trustees gave final approval to begin construction on the new elementary school in Chapin during its Dec. 9 meeting.


Approval of Amendment 2 authorized a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) of the new school at $22,862,497. In September, the Board approved Amendment 1 in the amount of $3,656,858, an Early Site Package to allow preliminary work to begin on the site while working to determine a final cost of the school building and other improvements. The district’s thirteenth elementary school is slated to open on Amicks Ferry Road August 2021.


“For any construction project, it’s critical to begin work as early as possible and plan for the unexpected so that you can stay on schedule.  We always want to plan for the worst and work for the best!” said Dan Neal, a construction consultant to the Board. “With the approval of Amendment 2, we are on track and ready to begin significant work on the new school in anticipation of opening in the spring of 2021.”


The Board also approved three of four “recommended enhancements,” totaling $542,842. Those enhancements included exterior safety window coating SchoolGuard®, Horizontal Vertical Exterior Sun Shades, and an Extended Car Rider Canopy. A recommendation for interior skylight windows in the PreK/K wing of the school was not approved.


In addition to discussion over recommended enhancements, Board members engaged in significant conversation over the cost of the school, a few trustees questioning whether the cost was too high.


Contractors and designers for the new school addressed the concerns saying the cost is below the cost per square foot of other districts in the Carolinas and the southeast. After the vote approving the amendment, Board Chairman Robert Gantt spoke of the “passionate” discussions leading up to passage of the measure.


“We are, seven Board members, all passionate, and you saw some of that passion tonight, but it’s only because we are passionate about this community and we care about this school, which we do believe will be here for 100 years or more,” Gantt said. “I think people are getting real excited about this school. And everyone in this community…will come to embrace this school as the center of Amicks Ferry Road and the center of this community for years and years to come.”


For more information on the district’s new elementary school in Chapin, including the presentation to the School Board on Dec. 9, visit Video and other information from the Dec. 9 School Board meeting, and all other past school board meetings this school year, can be found at