Anderson School District One considering Impact Fee to meet growth needs

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During their meeting Tuesday, the Anderson School District One Board amended the 2021-22 budget by approximately $3 million, approved construction of a new Technology and Transportation building, heard an update on the building program and approved an impact fee study.
The budget was amended to reflect an increase from $80,273,309 to $83,149,492. Superintendent Robbie Binnicker said the increase basically reflects COVID related expenses and supplies and salary step increases approved by the State.
The Board unanimously approved $3.5 million for a new Technology and Transportation building which will be built on property at Spearman Elementary. Binnicker said it will be a typical District 1 building but will include a “state of the art” IT room. Binnicker said the facility “We have definitely moved into the 21st century” with the facility. The room will house all of the District’s internet infrastructure along with a backup generator, back up HVAC system and elevated floor to protect the servers. Board member Mike Wilson asked about UPS or uninterrupted power supply, which Binnicker said they have now and the new facility will have also.
“All of our servers have UPS,” he said. The equipment will prevent power interruptions and keep the servers cool.
The new transportation facility will offer more room for the District’s sixty-eight bus drivers as well as five or six restrooms.
Binnicker explained the Construction Manager at Risk process which the District has been using on the recent building program. The process offers a twenty percent incentive for the Construction Manager to come in under budget or on time or earlier on projects, therefore saving money. Binnicker said it also has collaboration with principals and other District officials. The collaborations often lead to alternatives before the bid process, that save time and money.

Binnicker updated the Board on the building project. At Palmetto Middle there is still a significant amount of work to do on the bus circle. Binnicker said they were well pleased with movement of the “wall mural” to Mineral Spring Park and that he has heard lots of great comments on preserving the wall.
At Wren Middle, Phase 2 work is about completed and demolition on the cafeteria, gym and one classroom will begin this week. Construction on the new Fine Arts classroom wing will begin in January or February, he said.
Binnicker said bricks from the building and wood from gym floor will be made available to persons who would like to have them for keepsake. According to Binnicker, the narrow wood in the Wren Middle gym was in fantastic shape.
Renovations at Wren High are complete and at Palmetto High, work on converting the old office to classrooms will be completed by October.

HVAC work at Palmetto Elementary and Wren Elementary “will be down to the wire” but should be done by the Aug. 10 start date for school, he said. Palmetto Elementary summer school is being held at West Pelzer and Wren Elementary summer school is being held at Spearman.

An open house and ribbon cutting/dedication is being planned for the new Palmetto Middle and Wren Middle school buildings just prior to the opening of school in August. Binnicker said though work will not be completely finished on the projects, they would like to do it early. “It will never look as good as it does now,” he said.

The Powdersville High press box project which was included with the multipurpose room work, was taken out of the plan due to being “incredibly expensive”. Binnicker said it is being redesigned and the District will oversee the construction. It is still on the list, he said.
LED lighting is being installed at all schools.
Completed projects include: the practice field at Wren Middle, roof at West Pelzer Elementary, additions at Powdersville elementary, Spearman Elementary, Cedar Grove Elementary, Powdersville Middle, Powdersville High, and the Powdersville High multi-purpose building.

Secure vestibules have been completed at Hunt Meadows Elementary, Powdersville Elementary, Spearman Elementary and West Pelzer Elementary.
Wren High roof replacement, Concrete Elementary roof repair and Pelzer Auditorium HVAC have all been completed.

Anderson School District One is considering an Impact Fee to help pay for growth related infrastructure needs.
According to Binnicker, District One is seeing tremendous growth with 18 subdivisions planned in the area. One will have 829 lots and another will have 1,243 lots. There are two new proposed subdivisions in the Piedmont area with 430 and 645 lots.
There is also a mega construction project located near I-85 and Hwy. 81 that could have up to 2,200 lots that will bring an estimated 3,300 new kids into District One schools.
Carson Bise of TischlerBise Fiscal, Economic, Planning firm presented information about an Impact Fee Study which would provide information.
According to Bise, an impact fee is added to the permit process for contractors/developers building new housing and apartments in certain areas. The one time payment is usually collected at the time building permits are issued. It can’t be used for operations, maintenance or replacement but is for growth-related infrastructure only.
The study would gather information to meet three requirements including need, benefit (short range expenditures and geographic service areas) and proportionally.
Impact fees cover the entire cost of new facilities and protect current property owners who will not be paying for new facilities that will be needed to meet the expected growth.
The Board unanimously approved funding for the Impact Fee Study which will cost $33,520.
The Board also approved a number of personnel recommendations.