Construction has begun on a Dillon school that was mentioned in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech two years ago.
J.V. Martin Middle School, currently the oldest public school in South Carolina, received national exposure in 2009 after a student, 14-year-old Ty’Sheoma Bethea, wrote the president about her school’s deteriorating condition. Obama read from her letter in his speech. In it, Bethea asked for help, saying other schools had better facilities.
Groundbreaking on the new school began Monday. It is being built with money from a low-interest federal loan given to three new school projects in Dillon County. The other two are an early childhood development center in Latta and renovations at Lake View High School. Overall, the Dillon County School Facilities Corporation received $36 million in loans and an extra $4 million in grants for the Department of Agriculture.
Bethea, now 16 years old and living in Georgia, attended the groundbreaking.
As a side note, the local historical society is looking to renovate the old school.