Sparkleman

New Spartanburg High School Proposal

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I heard over the weekend that Dr. Russell Booker is preparing to make a big announcement at the District 7 board meeting this week. A lot of teachers and administration think it may be to announce the building of a new SHS on the site of the former Lan Yair country club across from Wal Mart on the east side. There is also speculation if this is the case that a middle school (McCracken) would also be built on the site. Apparently White Oak retirement community wants to expand and the only was to do this is where the middle school is.

District 7 can probably do this much like Dorman did and sell or lease the property for new construction.

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Interesting. 

If that's the move they make then they should take the old site and sell it to the City or County and make a huge park out of it. It would be a great place to showcase Lawson's Fork and have a true "central park" in Spartanburg.

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Some one mentioned that the lower half of tennis courts & practice fields (and Fernwood pool) could make a good park but I am sure they want to put as many houses out there as possible.

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A friend and I were talking just last week about how Lan Yair would make a perfect campus for a new SHS.  Hope this is true.

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The rumor is that it has already been decided that it will go there. I don't know what's wrong with the current site.

They just spend a fortune on all the facilities.

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Way back in 1959 when the current campus was built (I wasn't around then) it is my understanding the NIMBYS hated the idea of a high school on Sydnor Road or anywhere else in their neighborhood. 

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Wow.  That would be quite a project.  If they do it, I hope they make the campus more dense than the sprawling mess that other new county high schools have been.  Maybe not use the whole Lan-Yair property either, so there could be more commercial development there.  I also think the site will really need another road connection between East Main and Skylyn/Cannons Campground.  The campus would be really close to Broome, which would be odd.  And I agree with spartanburgh that this is surprising considering the many millions they've spent on the current campus over the last few years.  Dorman was a $70 million project back in 2001, so I bet this would be $100 million+.  I doubt they'd get nearly as much money for the current site, as it's in a neighborhood, not a huge commercial corridor.

I like the idea of a park on the current campus in theory, but the City has so much non-taxable land uses, that private development may be the way to go.  As a compromise, how about the lower athletic fields remain, and the school redeveloped at a bit higher density (apartment buildings, townhouses, neighborhood retail).  Though I'm not sure if the housing demand (at least single family) is that great, considering how Carrington hasn't seen much building activity.  So maybe just a park after all, but then District 7 wouldn't get much for it.  The area around Fernwood pool is owned by SPACE, so it will never be developed.

Those were some rambling thoughts.  Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out...

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We are never going to get a Target on the eastside at this rate. :(

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We are never going to get a Target on the eastside at this rate. :(

I can't possibly see that happening as even big, bad Greenville does not have (2) Targets.

My property taxes could go up 10% to pay for this if Booker and SHS get what they want. I am not saying I am against it, I just think the price tag might be a bit much and the location is going to create a traffic nightmare unless some type of connector to Skylyn Dr. is created as Zion Hill Rd can't possibly handle the increased traffic.

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I lived in District 6 when Dorman moved. I really don't want to have to pay for a new SHS, too. :(

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I can't wait to vote NO on this.  That price tag is ridiculous, and to build this in a district with a declining student population is absurd.  I'm tired of all the "me too" attitudes - what's wrong with being content with what you have.  Fix what needs fixed and move on.  Don't build just because Dorman and Gaffney and others have new schools.  It's not needed, and an undue burden on the taxpayer.

Get ready, Boiling Springs.  If this goes through you're next.  At least the population is on the upswing there, so it MIGHT be slightly more justified in that district.

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I can't wait to vote NO on this.  That price tag is ridiculous, and to build this in a district with a declining student population is absurd.  I'm tired of all the "me too" attitudes - what's wrong with being content with what you have.  Fix what needs fixed and move on.  Don't build just because Dorman and Gaffney and others have new schools.  It's not needed, and an undue burden on the taxpayer.

Get ready, Boiling Springs.  If this goes through you're next.  At least the population is on the upswing there, so it MIGHT be slightly more justified in that district.

I don't agree with the whole proposal, but I actually think it will easily pass. I also think you will see more folks move into the district when it does pass. If you live in Hillbrook, Hillcrest, Fernwood, Drayton, Beaumont, etc., you should be grateful as I can't think of anything else that would have gone there that would help increase your property values.

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I feel the proposed SHS relocation site is far too valuable to be used for a non-taxable entity.  I'm sure the price of the land is pretty cheap considering the big Easton development planned for that location died some years back.  It seems to me there are plenty of other large swaths of real estate available for a new high school. Isn't there lots of land off South Pine Street?  

Thoughts?

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You have to go a ways down South Pine before you get to those open swaths and by that time I believe you enter District 3 (Broome) or get close.

The land has been vacant now for close to 10 years and no one has touched it. Heck the pine trees have almost covered the landscape where you really can't really see the open land if there is any. No I think District 7 wanted to stay on the east side and this is the best way to do it. Its not perfect but its probably going to be pretty special.

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roads-scholar, if you look at the site plan in the H-J article, the HS is at the back of the property, leaving plenty of land along East Main for potential retail development (not sure if that's their plan, but land-wise it's possible).

This new H-J article mentions that District 7 is talking to Pacolet Milliken about possibly using some land near Drayton (presumably across Skylyn from Houston) for the new combined Houston-Chapman elementary school.

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Why would you want any kind of retail directly in front of a school? I am trying to think of a school in any of the districts that has that kind of set up and nothing is coming to mind other than a Bojangles and gas station down near Dorman.

I was actually thinking they might put the elementary school down on Floyd Rd Extension as there is a ton of vacant land back there and it would be somewhat closer to Chapman.

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Why not?  Retail, office, residential--I don't care. Something taxable. None of the other schools here have that set-up because they are horribly-designed, sprawling messes in the middle of nowhere. District 7 is the densest/most-urban district, so they should do things differently.  It would be a great use of the land, the traffic would generally come at different times of the day, and District 7 could make back some money to help pay for this whole plan.  The old Dorman was surrounded by restaurants, and people would sometimes walk over and get lunch.  Though, I realize that would likely be impossible in today's era of hyper-secure schools.

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I want to point out that at least part of the problem is that there are 7 school districts in Spartanburg County. If there were fewer - maybe 2 or 3, this would simply be an issue of changing school attendance zones (ie: send more kids to Broome, that has tons of space for expansion) and renovating the existing facility. 

The core problem of the proposal, however, is the completely suburban model of school design. I agree that because D7 is lacking in space that a more compact configuration needs to be used. Dorman is actually the poster child of poor site design, so why copy it? If a new site is needed, use the compact design a build something that will last for 100 years (ie: Pine Street Elem).

I will concede that the Lan-Yair site is the only undeveloped tract of land in district 7 large enough to hold a Dorman-style high school that is relatively close to the existing site. There are other options though - the land bounded by 585/Hwy 9/California Ave would be a much better location from an access/traffic standpoint.

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There's now a rendering of the proposed new SHS.  It looks quite nice; better than most recently built schools.  It's got a traditional "Collegiate Gothic" look to it. 

To back up a statement I made earlier in this thread, the Capital Improvement Plan Recommendation Presentation (found here) specifically mentions "potential to sell outparcels" as a "Pro" of the Lan-Yair site.  Referendum is March 15.  It will be interesting to see if it's approved by voters.

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The football stadium sure looks close to the building.  What if they want to expand the building in the back down the road? 

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I like the architecture. Too bad you won't be able to see it from the street. It looks like the kind of building that would fit in great in a traditional, walkable neighborhood - not amongst the East Main Street strip malls.

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 6:57 PM, vicupstate said:

The football stadium sure looks close to the building.  What if they want to expand the building in the back down the road? 

I can't see SHS ever expanding as the student population is falling and there is nowhere to put any new housing of any serious numbers in District 7 to increase it. This new school is overkill no matter how they spin it. You can also bet the price tag that Booker is giving ($185 mil) is less than the actual cost will be upon completion. District 7 has wasted some much money over the years trying to keep up with crosstown Dorman its sickening. The basketball arena, the lacrosse field (under sized so no actual games can be played there), the freshman wing, & the football practice fields. Then there is the biggie the Duncan Park renovations which we argued about on these boards and I said was a waste of money then and really looks dumb now after SHS abandons it 3-4 years. Who's gonna play there now?

They say my property taxes will go up at least $120 a year but I figure it will be double that when all the bells and whistles are added. I am trying not to be bitter about District 7 and SHS where I went to school but the spending is out of control and this will kill some neighborhoods property values. I wish someone would ask Dr Booker why the school can be put out on Hwy 221 where the land is most abundant. I guess he doesn't want to drive that far to work.

 

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What is the official plan for the current McCracken Middle School building after it moves to the current SHS site?   I have heard that White Oak Estates may be interested in the land, but do not remember seeing that in print. Another example of wasting money is having both Booker and Thomas White in the administration. Both making pretty big bucks.   

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Don't think they're building a new baseball stadium. Continuing to use Duncan Park is the plan.

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