FORT MILL — If all goes according to plan, the new Riverview Elementary School should be open for students in January 2015.
Renovations on the existing Riverview, to prepare it to become part of the Fort Mill High School campus, would begin immediately after the school is vacated.
The new Riverview Elementary School is on Business Hwy. 21.
Land clearing is complete and construction is moving forward on Riverview. The timeframe for construction – just under one year – is a tight one, but not impossible, said Assistant Superintendent Tommy Schmolze.
Students won’t occupy the school until after the holiday break next year, he said, but teachers and staff should be able to move in during the 2014 Christmas holiday.
Moving during the holiday break has been met with some concerns by teachers and staff, Schmolze said, but he said district officials plan to make the move “as seamless as possible.”
“Even though it’s not ideal to make a mid-year move, to make it at least bearable. No one likes to move, the headache, the chaos, but once you get in the new home it’s great. It’s so much better,” Schmolze said.
The mid-year move is important to maintaining the timeline for renovations planned to the existing Riverview, to allow students from Fort Mill High to occupy the building as quickly as possible.
Voters in April approved a $54 million bond sale to provide funding for the new Riverview construction, renovations to the existing Riverview to allow neighboring Fort Mill High School to expand onto the Riverview campus, and an expansion of Nation Ford High School.
Fort Mill High School is over its 1,800-student capacity. Two mobile units are already on site to serve the overflow population.
Expanding Fort Mill High School’s campus as quickly as possible means keeping more mobile units at the school from being necessary, Schmolze said.
Mobile units “are not ideal,” he said. “It works short term but we don’t want to be in the mobile business. The faster we can renovate that campus and get them into a 2,400-capacity school, the better we will be.”
At the Dec. 10 school board meeting, Schmolze plans to show district officials plans for the new Fort Mill High School campus, with the Riverview expansion, including planned renovations to Bob Jones Stadium.