Fort Mill’s new school names mark geography

joverman@fortmilltimes.comJune 24, 2013 

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— Fort Mill School District’s eighth and ninth elementary schools will have common sense names: Dobys Bridge and Tega Cay elementary schools.

Dobys Bridge Elementary will not be spelled with an apostrophe even though the street itself is, in some places, spelled “Doby’s Bridge Road.” The decision was made by the school board at its June 18 meeting to keep the apostrophe out of the school name after Superintendent Chuck Epps checked the school’s address and determined that the postal address does not contain an apostrophe.

“They just stayed with what the address is and based their decision on the actual physical address,” district spokesperson Kelly McKinney said.

School mascots and colors will be selected after attendance lines are drawn in the fall. Once the schools’ principals know which students will be attending the schools, they’ll begin communicating with the students and parents via surveys and emails to get mascot and school color suggestions, McKinney said.

Also at the June 18 meeting, the school board gave approval to seek bids for the demolition of the former school building on Banks Street. The building opened in 1952 as Fort Mill High School and later served as Fort Mill Middle School. It has been used primarily for office space for the district in recent years.

Demolition will likely take place sometime in early August, district officials have said.

The board also on Tuesday took action to allocate $2.9 million in excess funds from the 2012-2013 budget. The board put the bulk of the excess, $2.5 million, toward future operations as a contingency fund for future needs. It allocated $100,000 to implement common core standards, nationwide educational standards, in the middle and high school grades, including training and materials for teachers.

An $180,000 fund was created for small replacement items at schools, to be allocated on a case-by-case basis. Those needs include small purchases that aren’t large enough for a bid, such as replacing broken desks for a school, said McKinney.

Middle school sports and middle school band also received a one-time boost from the school board. The board allocated $60,000 of the excess funds be spread among the district’s middle schools for band equipment. An additional $60,000 was allocated to the Fort Mill School District Athletic Board to fund middle school sports. This is the second year the district has approved $60,000 in excess funds be allocated to middle school sports, though they have stressed that they funding is not guaranteed annually.

Funding for middle school sports was cut by the school district in 2010. Parents formed an athletic board to keep middle school sports alive in the district but have to raise $60,000 each year to fund the program through fundraisers.

Fundraising Chairperson Lisa McCarley said the $60,000 allocation will allow the athletic board to “better the program with equipment needs and so forth, so it’s not just about sustaining the needs anymore,” she said.

In past years, the athletic board was able to raise the $60,000 required to keep the program running, but extra funds for equipment such as football helmets and uniforms were hard to come by.

“Now we can spend money on improving, not just sustaining,” she added.

Fundraising will not stop, however. It takes a long time to raise $60,000, McCarley said, and while the upcoming school year is paid for, fundraising for future years needs to continue. The athletic board typically sponsors an annual golf tournament and the popular Dancing with the Stars fundraiser.

Time to say goodbye

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