Fountain Inn High School opening delayed to at least 2019
The opening of a new Fountain Inn High has been pushed back at least two years amid concerns that building the school sooner would lead to a tax spike and that Golden Strip population growth hasn’t been fast enough to fill it with students.
A decision on when the school will open has been put off until 2015, but the way it’s set now, opening day wouldn’t be any sooner than 2019.
School board members Crystal Ball O’Connor and Lisa Wells, who represent the Golden Strip, said they were disappointed and baffled as to why the board reversed course two weeks after voting to keep the opening on schedule in 2017.
“It’s a delay that represents the possibility of one delay after another,” O’Connor said. “When something is not reflected as a priority, it continues to get pushed down the road.”
School board member Danna Rohleder, who has opposed a 2017 opening, said she has no problem building the school when there are enough students to fill it, ideally to at least 80 percent capacity.
“I think the administration in this case would be happy with 60 percent capacity,” said Rohleder, who represents the Eastside.
The Fountain Inn high school timetable has been in question since the administration released a projection that a building with a capacity of 1,000 would have 114 students if it opened in 2017.
If opening day were pushed back to 2022, enrollment would be 455 and the tax blow would be softened, according to administration projections.
The district has already bought 61 acres on Quillen Avenue for $2.1 million.
The Greenville County school board voted 8-4 on April 23 to determine the school’s occupancy date in 2015 and for the date to be no earlier than 2019.
The decision was a reversal from two weeks earlier, when the board debated four hours and then voted 7-4 to keep the school on schedule to open in 2017, while the administration gathered community input and researched middle and high school capacity needs in southern Greenville County.
Proponents of staying on schedule said the Golden Strip is the fastest growing part of the county and that they feel the rumblings of an imminent boom. They said the school is needed to relieve Mauldin and Hillcrest high schools, where enrollments of more than 2,000 in each have left some students feeling disconnected.
They have said the administration ought to look for innovative educational models, including the possibility of adding middle school grades to the Fountain Inn high school.
Opponents said enrollment growth has shrunk since the recession hit and that the growth has been skewed to elementary school grades. They have expressed concern that not having enough students at Fountain Inn High would make it difficult to offer adequate academic programs, such as Advance Placement classes.
A 5 mill countywide tax spike would be needed if the school were built in 2017 but not if it were pushed back to 2019, according to district projections.
O’Connor and Wells have vowed to continue advocating for the Fountain Inn area.
While they knew of no specific proposal to put the school back on schedule, Wells said it could be if the administration would look for solutions connected to overcrowding and large schools. The answers might not look like what is found in other schools, she said.
“I doubt it, but I would be happy if it didn’t look like every other school,” Wells said.
Critics have said they would be concerned about putting middle school students in the same building as high school students. O’Connor said both can be accommodated by thoughtfully structuring programs.
The decision on when to build a Fountain Inn high school was part of the board’s annual review of its long-range facilities plan.
Superintendent Burke Royster was asking as part of the review for the board to set an occupancy date of no earlier than 2019 and to give him until the 2014-15 school year to make a recommendation to get a better handle on population growth and establish attendance boundaries.
Rohleder offered the motion that went with Royster’s original plan.
Voting in favor of the Royster plan were Kenneth Baxter, Joy Grayson, Megan Hickerson, Lynda Leventis-Wells, Roger Meek, Rohleder, Pat Sudduth and Chuck Saylors.
Voting against the Royster Plan were: Debi Bush, Glenda Morrison-Fair, O’Connor and Wells.
Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Enters Greenville County
Fountain Inn, SC is first in Greenville County to join UHQT trail
Fountain Inn, SC, November, 2012 -- The first quilt square in South Carolina, sponsored by the Wynward Point Ladies Group, was mounted on the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla, SC in the Fall of 2009. Shortly afterwards, over 100 quilt panels could be found mounted on barns, businesses, homes and public buildings throughout Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties, creating The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT). Today, The Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce has partnered with The Fountain Inn History Museum to have the very first location of The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Greenville County.
Suzanne DiCarlo, along with assistance from her Nimble Thimbles Quilt Guild, is the quilt maker who replicated the quilt which represents the Stagecoach stop for Fountain Inn from the 1820's. This Quilt pattern was designed to resemble the spokes and wheels of a stagecoach. Fountain Inn was the first official traveling stop in Greenville county in the early 1800's. The shapes and the colors of the Fountain Inn Stagecoach Quilt tells the story of the beginning history of Fountain Inn and the Inn along the dirt road (1800's transportation road) from Greenville down to Laurens and then to Columbia and on to Charleston. This quilt pattern has been designed on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail marker program for the city of Fountain Inn, The Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce and The Fountain Inn History Museum to symbolize the history of the area and recognize Fountain Inn as the first place in Greenville County to have a UHQT block.
“This is an exciting time for Fountain Inn as we begin to proudly display our history and heritage by participating in The UHQT,” states John Hastings, CEO and President of The Chamber. “History and stories have been told for generations via the talented quilters from yesteryear and the quilters of today. It is my vision to see our area expand with quilt squares thru-out Fountain Inn and its surrounding areas, so that one day we will have enough to offer a walking/driving tour of the various quilt squares”.
For more information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, please go to: www.UHQT.org
ATTENTION BUSINESS OWNERS:
Dun and Bradstreet will work with South Carolina to assist businesses in credit monitoring, providing alerts to businesses in real time and at no costs for the LIFETIME of the business.
A website will be available for registration on Friday, November 2 at 8:00 a.m. That web address is www.dandb.com/sc. You may also call toll free (800) 279-9881.
If you know of ANYONE in need of employment, within an approximate 5 mile radius of Fountain Inn, there are at least 96 job(s), representing at least 104 position(s). These numbers change daily as positions are filled and new ones are added. Please follow this link to the home page: https://jobs.scworks.org/
Once you are on the Home page, Scroll down and look on the right side. There you will see where to input the zip code and mileage range Ex: Zip code....29644, then...5 mile radius
You will then see all the jobs available.
Remember, these jobs change as positions are filled and new jobs are added everyday, so check back OFTEN.
The home-page of the Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce's website has a "tab" labeled EMPLOYMENT. Many times during the week, new job opportunities are posted here. These positions may range from the local area to other counties in our state.
Follow this link to see current opportunities: http://fountaininnchamber.org/web/employment
If you know anyone who is in need of employment, please have them check our website at least twice a week. Together we can ALL help try and put America Back to Work!
South of Fountain Inn’s downtown core, a new steak and seafood eatery just opened closer to the city’s manufacturing base of companies that surround the red-sided restaurant and bar on North Old Laurens Road.
Though not in the heart of the city, Sammy and B.J. Abercrombie, owners of the Railhouse Restaurant, have bet on generating enough business from workers at industrial sites and the ZF Group plant in Gray Court to make their latest venture a success.
It is a bet the city’s economic development director, Van Broad, backs while holding out hope that the success of a higher-end restaurant will lead to more retail and restaurant developments in town.
“The Railhouse is a great addition to town; it is a little bit outside the downtown area,” Broad said. “We’ll continue to recruit restaurants to the downtown area and will continue to bring nighttime activities to the downtown area.”
The Railhouse Restaurant is one of two new restaurants and two new specialty retail shops to open in Fountain Inn this month. El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant opened on Weston Street in a spruced-up and freshly painted building that most recently housed the Blue Moon Diner.
On Main Street, a used bookstore called Bookquest and an expanded new shop called Paisley’s Salon and Gift Boutique have opened, bringing to Main Street two more specialty retail shops.
More could be on the way, even as the city finishes a streetscape project on nearby Depot Street and makes plans to revamp Main Street into a two-lane walkable downtown center.
Broad said the city is talking with three potential restaurants and has hosted a number of Greenville-based restaurant owners to show them what the city has to offer.
The city’s tourism and activities push has brought life to the city in the evenings with summer outdoor concerts, city-run festivals and a consistent lineup of shows, concerts and performances at the Fountain Inn Center for Performing and Visual Arts.
“We’ve done so much programming that has brought people back to downtown,” Broad said. “All of the events that we’re doing has been done with a purpose, to show people that if we can bring people downtown and show businesses that we can attract people downtown, it will help us recruit businesses.”
More announcements may come soon on Main Street and the State 418 corridor, Broad said. The two new restaurants offer cuisine that Fountain Inn residents couldn’t get in town previously, he said. And both are open for dinner, which hasn’t been the case with Fountain Inn businesses in the past, he said.
The Abercrombies purchased the former Linda’s Homestead bar in 2010. It took months to add a rock fireplace, move the bar to one corner of the large open rectangular room, remake the kitchen, renovate restrooms and replace booths, tables and lighting.
In that time the Abercrombies developed a menu filled with fresh seafood, steaks, sandwiches and salads.
“Fountain Inn does not have anything like this in town,” Abercrombie said.
B.J. Abercrombie said Fountain Inn residents asked them to open a restaurant like the Railhouse ever since they sold their last restaurant and campground on Lake Greenwood called Twin Rivers Landing and Restaurant.
Bordered on two sides by railroad tracks, the restaurant took its theme from the city’s railroad ties. Black and white photos of train engines, boxcars and depot stations decorate the wood-planked walls while railroad signs hang on the wall of a covered porch.
The restaurant offers a full bar that they hope will attract the post-shift crowd, but she said they’d stress the restaurant over the bar space with its own chef and made-to-order meals for lunch and dinner.
Railhouse Restaurant is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Mon.-Thurs. and 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat.
El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon.-Sat. and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
With today's economy being what it is, many, many people have lost their jobs and have been out work for weeks, months, possibly years. The Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce wants to do our part in trying to help get America Back to Work. On our website is a Tab labeled EMPLOYMENT. There you will find more information on available jobs and how to apply for them. Just recently, within a five (5) mile radius of 29644, there were over 67 jobs available. If you know of anyone out of work, please pass this information to them. By working together, we can help others find work. Thank you.
One of the many benefits of being a Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce member is having the opportunity to participate in our Member-2-Member Discount Program. This special program offers our Chamber members (and their employees) discounts on products and services from other Fountain Inn Chamber members. It also helps your business increase its visibility in the business community, and, best of all, there are no additional fees required to participate.
Member-2-Member Discounts are promoted throughout the year via the Chamber website, newsletters, and other emails. Discounts are listed on the Chamber website (www.FountainInnChamber.org). Be sure to check often for the most current listings before heading to the stores. (Print out a copy to take with you.)
All discounts are subject to change without notice. For your business to participate, a couple of things need to happen: ¨ Make sure your Ft. Inn Chamber Membership is current. (Only current members may participate. If you are not sure if your company is current, call us at 864-862-2586) ¨ Fill out the attached application form. Make sure the discount which your business wants to offer has a VALUE assigned to it such as: 10% off…, free drink with meal, $5.00 off with every $$$ spent, etc. You can change your discount at any time by letting us know what the change is going to be.
The Chamber hopes you will take advantage of this free program which is offered as a means of attracting more business for your company. Please call the Chamber if we can provide any further information about this exciting program. [Read More]
Your success is our success!