Spartanburg Chamber Announces Economic Impact of District 3 Referendum Would Total $74.7 Million

Chamber Executive Board voted to unanimously support the effort

Thursday, April 11, 2019 2:00 pm

A Clemson University study commissioned by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce found that the total economic impact of the upcoming District 3 referendum to build a new middle school would be $74.65 million.

The $58 million referendum, which goes before voters on April 16, would build a new middle school to replace both Cowpens and Pacolet middle schools. Bob Brookover, senior lecturer and coordinator of undergraduate programs at Clemson, put together the study, measuring jobs supported, labor income, state and local government revenues and total economic output.

If approved, the $58 million in school construction would have a direct impact of $52.2 million.

The total output of the project would add up to $74.65 million. A total of 571 jobs would be supported with a total labor income of $26.7 million. State and local government revenues would total $5.15 million.

Brookover said total output includes induced and indirect effects of the initial $58 million being spent and re-spent within the local economy by businesses and employees who are compensated due to these projects.

“Investing in our children always provides a future return on investment. The return outlined in this report also illustrates a substantial and immediate return on investment” said Allen Smith, president and CEO of the Spartanburg Chamber. “A total economic output of more than $74 million with 571 jobs supported is no small thing especially to the hundreds of local families that could be supported by this project. We hope the community recognizes the significance of these figures and joins our Executive Board in support of District 3 by voting Yes on April 16.”

Previously, the Spartanburg Chamber Executive Board voted to support the District 3 referendum. The Executive Board, made up of business and community leaders from across Spartanburg County, were led through a presentation by Superintendent Kenny Blackwood on the district’s Future Ready Schools Initiative, aimed at providing students better learning opportunities in better facilities.

“Ultimately, a school built during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower isn’t what’s best for students in 2019,” Smith said. “The Board’s support of the Future Ready Schools Initiative came down to what is best for students and the continuing support of pro-growth efforts across our county. We believe a new middle school can act as a catalyst for growth within District 3 along with improving outcomes for the district’s students and teachers.”

Education investment was the top priority on the Chamber’s 2019 Legislative Agenda, created after meetings held over the summer with Chamber members and others across Spartanburg County.

The $58 million referendum would not only lead to a new middle school in District 3, but would allow the district to go ahead with renovations at Broome High School and each of its elementary schools. It’s the first time District 3 has asked for voter support to build or renovate its facilities. If approved, the new middle school would be built in a centralized location on land donated by The Family and Friends of Roger Milliken.

“From the Chamber’s perspective, the top issue facing the Spartanburg business community is the attraction, retention and development of talent and qualified workers. The Future Ready Schools Initiative would allow for more classes and more advanced education options, better preparing students for life after school,” Smith said.

Regular precincts and polling places will be open.

About the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce: The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit organization supported through membership investment and strategic partnerships. Our mission is to enhance the economic vitality and lifestyle environment of Spartanburg County. For more information, visit

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