Fort Mill school bond committee launches social media campaign to woo voters

joverman@fortmilltimes.comFebruary 11, 2013 

— The Fort Mill School Board voted unanimously last week to approve a $54 million bond resolution aimed at expanding the district’s two high schools and building a new elementary school.

The next step is making a case to voters to approve the bond sale in a referendum scheduled for April 30. This campaign, unlike the last time the school district had to ask the public for permission to float bonds, will enlist the power of social media.

The bond referendum committee, chaired by Lisa McCarley, David Macaulay and Michele Branning, launched a website, Facebook page and Twitter account all aimed at providing voters information about the bond referendum. They also plan an informational meeting in the near future. The date will be announced through social media.

Following the board’s Feb. 5 vote, the referendum will be a single question that asks voters if they approve a $54 million bond sale that will pay for building a new Riverview Elementary School on property the district already owns and expand Nation Ford and Fort Mill high schools. The bond package would also include the cost of upgrades to Fort Mill High School, which would annex the property now occupied by Riverview.

The high school expansions would delay the necessity of building a third high school, officials decided.

In addition to the high school expansion, the bond package includes $1.8 million for turf athletic fields for both high school stadiums, $2.2 million in district-wide technology improvements, and $1.9 million in safety improvements at all district schools.

With the resolution passed, the bond committee can begin “a heavy marketing campaign,” said McCarley, including meeting with community organizations and homeowners groups and “educating the community on how the bond will impact them and how it will impact our schools and community,” she said.

So far, “We’ve received nothing but a positive response,” McCarley said.

The referendum leaders will also be working to get people to chair various committees, said Branning, including neighborhood captains for each neighborhood and school. The full list of committees is available on the website. Anyone interested in chairing a committee can contact Branning at m.branning@hotmail.com.

“It’s time to get down to business,” Branning said.

For more information, go to keepourschoolsstrong.org.

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