Richard Carroll Elementary School Dedication Ceremony
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

“This is the day that we start to make history in this new building,” Bamberg School District One Superintendent Phyllis K. Schwarting told the large group assembled in the lobby for the dedication of the brand new Richard Carroll Elementary School, located off Highway 301, north of Bamberg, on Sunday, August 19th, at 4:00 pm.

Schwarting noted that “what we say and do is being said and done for the first time in these walls.” She encouraged those in attendance in the new $15 million state of the art building to “always try to remember this day when your school was brand new.” A school she noted that is nearly 125,000 square foot, resting on 50 plus acres of land “that was once a dairy farm.”

Schwarting stated that the new school reflected a “community partnership." “A partnership that consisted of parents, teachers, community members, students, administrators and local government. The partnership revealed a community that “cares and is willing to take action.” “Together, ordinary people have accomplished something extraordinary today. Today we celebrate that accomplishment.”

Bamberg School District One School Board Chairwoman Rita Sease, in giving the welcoming remarks, called the new RCES “a dream come true” for us and those it will serve daily. Sease noted that to maintain its success, the district had to work together as a team. “We needed to work as a team-- our parents, community, teachers, board members and students.”

District One board member Dr. R. Dale Padgett, who noted that he was the longest serving board member in the history of Bamberg School District One, with 22 years of service, said the only agenda that anyone should have is “the children, all children.” Padgett in noting that he and his children were products of this school district, said the district must work to enable children to equip themselves for the world ahead of them. He said the district has always “been blessed” to have teachers and administrators that are “top notch” and hold education in this district to a “higher standard.”

Former District One Board Chair John E. Bamberg, who served on the board for more than 20 years, said the aim of the district is “to serve the children of the community.” “We must put the children first,” Bamberg said, adding “this building speaks volumes for our school district in that it will be a legacy for years to come.”

Bamberg Mayor Alton McCollum said his job as mayor was tied in with the school district, in that the first thing new industry wants to know about is the quality of the school system in a community. “This will be a plus for us in recruiting industries,” Mayor McCollum said.

Other events included in the program were as follows:

Music was provided by the Red Raider Regiment Band under the direction of Jordan Smith. BEHS JROTC Cadets Desiree’ McMillan and Chyna Hires performed the posting of the colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the National Anthem.

Reverend Charlie Lucas, Pastor of the Bamberg First Baptist Church and a member of the Bamberg County Ministerial Alliance, in his prayer of dedication “thanked God for people with a vision, a vision for children, a vision to see children blessed and prepared.” Rev. Lucas said he prayed that “God’s hand would be on this place.”

After the prayer of dedication, a brief ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by Superintendent Schwarting and the District One board members in attendance. Light refreshments were served in the new spacious cafeteria.