From Dawn Kujawa – Lexington Two Communications Director – Lexington Two has purchased just over 28 acres of property in Cayce to build a combined district office and performing arts center, the final project in a $225 million, voter-approved construction plan.
The 28.165-acre parcel, on the corner of the 12th Street Extension and Saxe Gotha Road, is adjacent to Dominion Energy’s offices in Cayce. The property will offer visibility from Interstate 77 and is accessible to the district’s schools — including three roughly a mile from the site.
The property was purchased for $4,739,250 from The Donald R. Tomlin, Jr. Special Master Trust, which represented the former South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., now Dominion Energy. The property purchase was approved earlier this year by the Lexington Two Board of Trustees, and the sale closed this week.
The arts center will offer Lexington Two schools a large, state-of-the-art venue and stage for performances, special events, and district-wide occasions — something many schools now lack. The district office will move into the new arts center, allowing the space to be continuously occupied, even when the arts center is not in use. The current district office’s 10 acres and 1970s-era office building at 715 Ninth Street in West Columbia are under contract in a previously announced sale, expected to close in coming weeks.
“Our board has chosen a highly visible and accessible location for the district fine arts center,” said Lexington Two Superintendent William B. James Jr. “It will be an outstanding venue with seating for over 2,000 individuals, allowing us to host district-wide events with employees, families, and the community. Additionally, the facility will house the district office, allowing for a cost savings and joint use of space that would otherwise be duplicated in separate facilities.”
Cayce City Councilman Phil Carter, who was a member of the Lexington Two Board of Trustees in 2014 when voters approved the district construction program, said the arts center is a “much-needed addition,” offering new event and performance space not currently available in the district’s two high schools and tying in well with the nearby Lexington Two Innovation Center and arts magnet middle school.
The center also will be a “great fit” for Cayce’s 12th Street Extension.
“We think this will enhance and attract future development for the area by maintaining quality educational opportunities,” said Carter, whose district includes the arts center property.
Construction on the center could begin as soon as April 2021, with completion estimated some time in 2023. The property had significant site work completed before the purchase, which is expected to save the school district several weeks of construction time.
The estimated cost of the combined arts center and district office, roughly $40 million, is expected to be covered by existing construction funds, as well as proceeds from the sale of the current district office property.
The $225 million construction plan in Lexington Two has added three schools and upgraded others across the district.