Florence One Schools superintendent says contractor to be picked soon for McClenaghan renovations

By: Joshua Lloyd

FLORENCE, S.C. – Superintendent Richard O’Malley told the Florence One Schools board Thursday that a contractor is expected to be selected by the end of the month to renovate the McClenaghan building.

At Thursday’s meeting, the school district welcomed two new school board members and three returning school board members, as well as elected a chairman, vice chairwoman and secretary.

The district will renovate the McClenaghan building and move the Poynor Adult Education to McClenaghan. Then, the district plans to move forward with the creation of a magnet high school in the Poynor building.

Currently, the district has sent a request for proposals and received responses to the request for hiring a contractor for the renovations, which will be selected by the end of the month, O’Malley said.

The district has also written to the mayor and the Florence City Council to receive the $12 million from the agreement with the city that was made in 2016 to move forward with the renovations.

Chairman Barry Townsend said for the money to be transferred from the city to Florence One Schools, there had to have been expenditures made on the project. He also said the district requested the money be transferred by the end of January.

The McClenaghan building was formerly a school in Florence, but has been empty.

“It’s a beautiful building with a ton of history, and we’ve got a lot of city leaders who did go to school there and would love to see it as a part of the downtown revitalization,” Townsend said. “The great thing about it is with Poynor right here beside us and McClenaghan just a block away, you combine that with the Florence Little Theatre and the library, it’s really going to help further the renovations up Dargan Street.”

Several board members expressed their excitement about the McClenaghan building finally being renovated.

“I am glad to see you do it,” said school board member Trisha Caulder. “I think we need to do it.”

During the board of trustees meeting, Artie Buxton and Davy Gregg took oath on the school board for the first time. E.J. McIver, Trisha Caulder and Bryan Chapman took their oath for another term on the school board.

The board also re-elected Townsend as chairman of the board. Caulder is vice chairwoman and Porter Stewart is secretary of the board.