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New school district office building gets approved, moving process starting soon

Leaders within the Colleton County School District are preparing to move into their new administrative building, which is housed in a now-refurbished and former school.
With approval from the Colleton County School Board, the school district has been refurbishing the vacant Forest Circle Middle School. This former school was closed during the district’s 2012 consolidation project, which merged three of Colleton’s middle schools into one mega-middle school, currently called Colleton County Middle School.
The actual refurbishment project of the former Forest Circle Middle School building has been underway for several years, with the phases discussed by the school board during their meetings.
The district’s turning the former school into an administrative building is a $1.7-million project. The majority of these funds – approximately $5.5 million – came from a bond resolution that was passed by the Colleton County School Board in February of 2018.
The rest of the funds - $1.6 million – are being pulled from the school district’s Capital Project fund. All of the money in this fund is allocated solely for capital projects in the district, and cannot be used for general operational needs.
The new all-inclusive administrative building is located at 500 Forest Circle, and will also house two other of the school districts’ educational programs: the Colleton’s Adult Learning Center and the Colleton Academy for Success (the alternative education program). Both of these centers will leave their current locations and will be housed in the new building.
In addition to housing these two programs, the new building will also be the main site for all of the school district’s offices, including the Office of the Superintendent, the Office of Administrative Services, the Office of Federal Program, the Office of Student Services, the Office of Special Services, the Office of Curriculum and Instruction, and the district’s Office of Student Nutrition.
The Colleton County School Board and its conference room will also be in this new space.
According to information provided by Sean Gruber, spokesman for the Colleton County School District, the new administrative building recently passed its final inspection, which was conducted by the Office of School Facilities on Jan. 22nd.
With the final inspection approval of the building now complete, Gruber said the district’s different departments would start moving into the new space on February 3rd.
This will be a gradual move, with some of the department’s remaining open to the public for partial office hours starting on Feb. 5th. These hours will be updated and posted to the public by the school district and this newspaper.
All of the district’s offices should be in place at the new site and open to the public by Feb. 12th, said Gruber.
The Colleton County School District’s current headquarters are located in The Buckner Building, located at 213 Jefferies Boulevard, at the end of East Washington Street. This building is owned by Colleton County Council and has been leased to the school board for district use.
It is unclear what the county council will do with the building once the district leaves the space.
In addition to the new administrative building, the Colleton County School District does own other property, located at 609 Colleton Loop and 611 Colleton Loop in Walterboro.
The new administrative building has consolidated the need for this space, meaning the space at 609 and 611 Colleton Loop will be empty. According to Gruber, district leaders are currently “exploring options for utilizing” this district office property.

Heather Walters (1700 Posts)