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Lexington School District Four holds ribbon cutting for Performing Arts Center & upgraded Athlet

Swansea, SC (Paul Kirby) – A crowd gathered Sunday afternoon for a ribbon cutting at the beautiful new Swansea High School Performing Arts Center. While at the school, guests also got to tour the new Athletic Complex too.

The ceremony, held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, January 19, 2019, began in the beautiful new Performing Arts Center. Special guests in attendance included Congressman Joe Wilson (SC 2), SC Senator Nikki Setzler, Town of Swansea representatives, members of Lexington Four’s Board of Trustees, and representatives of the architectural firm and builder who were involved in the projects. Richard Skipper was also there to represent the Cayce West Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Of course, there were also parents and students, both past and present, attending.

The Performing Arts Center is magnificent. It seats 1,200 people, has a state-of-the-art light and sound system, dressing rooms and fully handicapped accessible restrooms, a sunken orchestra pit, and an overhead catwalk area. There is multi-area communications system, LED projector and screen, and a gorgeous concert grand piano on stage. There are even handicapped platforms at the entrance level for those in wheelchairs and others using assistance for disabilities.

The band played cheerful tunes as colored lights changed prior to the formal ceremony. As the program commenced, the Star-Spangled Banner was performed by students before the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. A large American flag descended from the ceiling during this time. Afterward, the crowd was thanked for attending by Lisa Ingraham, director of human resources and public relations for Lexington Four. There were a few words said and then the crowd of dignitaries came on stage and used large, ceremonial scissors to officially snip the ribbon.They were surrounded by students who had performed with the band.

In another area of the facility, there’s a large arts studio which includes a 75-inch instructional monitor, both classroom and studio areas, and even a special shop for the construction of stage scenes.

There’s a new band and chorus room that is acoustically balanced with areas for large and small practice groups. There’s room for uniform and equipment storage and a baby grand piano for the chorus. It also includes a special piano room for keyboarding and guitar courses.

After seeing this portion of the new addition, guests could take a tour that showcased the newly renovated gymnasium locker rooms, improved LED lighting, eight lane track, softball and baseball fields, new scoreboards, batting cages, fencing, and security cameras. There are also improved sound systems and parking facilities for the Sports Complex.

Even at the front of the school, there has been work done to improve the look while adding additional security features. The front entrance has been renovated and a new visitors’ parking lot was added. The facelift and additional, new facilities make the high school almost unrecognizable. It is beautiful, more functional, and certainly safer.

All the changes were funded when voters of the District passed a $25.4 million bond referendum in 2016. At the beginning of ceremony and tour, Lisa Ingram thanked not only the board who saw the need, but the steering committee that developed the plan for the upgraded facilities. She also thanked the taxpayers of the District that will pay for this with additional property taxes they will see on any real property they own.

As impressive as the facilities was, the Swansea High School JROTC cadets that greeted the public and directed them into the Center were equal or more. They were all clean cut, dressed in spotless, well kept uniforms, and represented the school and district well. If the Swansea and Gaston areas continue to turn out students such as these, the future looks bright for the graduates of Lexington School District Four.

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