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Bluegrass music to be featured at historic depot

Organizers of the 2002 annual Spring Water Festival say this may be the best festival the Town has had yet.

In addition to celebrating Williamston’s sesquicentennial, the 21st annual event will  feature live bluegrass music at the historic depot.

The special addition to the festival entertainment is being coordinated by Jack Ellenburg and committee members working for the preservation and restoration of Williamston’s old Southern Railway depot.

The depot, located across from the park along Big Creek, has been under renovations for approximately one year.

One of the focal points for restoration of the depot is having a place for the presentation of bluegrass and other entertainment, committee chairman John Brannon said.

Bluegrass music will be featured inside the depot during the Spring Water Festival, according to Ellenburg.

“We want to give the public a feel for how it can be used to stage musical events,” he said.

The rustic interior setting will include a lighted stage and there will be fans and hopefully a cool breeze under the shade trees that surround the depot, Ellenburg said. There will be seating for more than 100 bluegrass fans, he said.

Although the restoration effort is not complete, enough has been done to make the building usable for the 2002 festival.

With help from the town, a new roof was put on the structure last year and a major part of the effort, getting the interior cleaned out, was accomplished, Ellenburg said.

Volunteers have been instrumental in the work that has been done.

Several sections of siding have either been replaced or scraped and repainted. A mill in Ware Shoals had provided special cut siding to match the original siding

Water and sewer lines have been stubbed to the facility by the Town.

Scaffolding was donated by Dan and Karen Driver of Williamston.

When completed, the building will also be suitable for indoor use year round, complete with restrooms.

Future plans for the depot call for an outdoor stage area along the creek, which will be facing an audience that will sit in the grassy area at the fire department.

Additional steps in the renovation process will include new flooring, wiring, plumbing, adding a ramp and outside lighting, Brannon said.

“There is a lot to be done. But it is coming along slowly,” he said.

Approximately $25,000 is needed to complete the project, according to Brannon.

Funding for the project will be primarily by donations.

Although some of the renovation work will have to be paid, committee members said a lot is being done by volunteers.

The committee is looking for individuals interested in donating time, labor or money to help with the project.

Six committee members are serving on the Historic Depot Restoration project under Brannon’s direction.

Members include Tim Harmon, Donna Rachels, Walter Smith, Grady Staton, Jack Ellenburg and David Meade.

Anyone interested in helping with the Town of Williamston Historic Depot Renovation project can contact John Brannon at (864) 847-7109 or Jack Ellenburg at (864) 847-6140.

Individuals and businesses interested in seeing the historical structure renovated are encouraged to make donations to the Town of Williamston Historic Depot Restoration account.

Donations may be made at CCB or Town Hall, or mailed to The Town of Williamston, PO Box 70, Williamston, SC 29697.

The Spring Water Festival will be held Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Williamston’s Mineral Spring park.

Town employee Jamie Carter is coordinating the festival which has been organized by individuals since it began as a fundraising event for the Christmas Park in 1981.

Craft applications are still being accepted, however there are only a few spaces left, according to Carter. Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

The festival will also spotlight Williamston’s sesquicentennial, celebrating 150 years since the town was chartered Williamston in 1852.

The Sesquicentennial committee will be offering souvenirs including hats, pillows, afghans, tote-bag, and limited edition, numbered souvenir plates. These items are currently on sale at Town Hall.

Cycling race coming to area

Aspiring amateur and professional Olympic hopefuls will converge on Clemson University, Pendleton and near Williamston when the United States Cycling Federation (USCF) 2002 Junior/Espoir National Road Championships begin this week.

The event runs from Aug. 1 to Aug. 4 and will begin in the P-3 lot on the Clemson campus at 9 a.m. Thursday. It is free to the public.

The criterium race is a fast multi-lap event that is best described as the formula 1 of cycling.

“We are very excited to be hosting such a premier event here at Clemson,” said Kim Alexander, director, Clemson University Cruisers Program.

The race is a collaboration between Clemson University’s Cruisers Program, Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce, Sunshine Bicycle Shop, Clemson University Police Department, Clemson University’s Office of Student Affairs, and USCF.

The event typically attracts 417 of the best junior cyclists in the nation.

The race includes two national championships.  Boy and girl cyclists, ages 10-18, will compete in the junior championships, while Olympic hopefuls compete.

Both races include three events.  One event is a criterium, a multi-lap event held on the Clemson campus.  The second is a road race held in Pendleton.

Pendleton will host the Junior road race Aug. 3 beginning at Pendleton Elementary.

On Aug. 2, the Espoir, or road race will take place in Polk County, N. C. on a 105 mile loop near Saluda. 

On Aug. 4, the third, a time trial, will be staged on Hampton Rd., Welcome Rd., and Midway Road near Williamston. It is an event where riders compete against the clock instead of each other. Riders will start at 730 Hampton Road (in front of Electric City Printing Company).

Age, kilometer and lap classifications for the time trial race are as follows: Espoir Men, 30 km, 3 laps; Men 17-18, 20 km, 2 laps; Men 15-16, 20 km, 2 laps; Women 17-18, 20 km, 2 laps; Women 15-16, 20 km, 2 laps; Men 13-14, 10 km, 1 lap; Men 10-12, 10 km, 1 lap; Women 13-14, 10 km, 1 lap; and Women 10-12, 10km, 1 lap.

For more information contact Kim E. Alexander at 864-656-0664 or email or Andy Blondeau, Clemson Chamber of Commerce at (864)654-1200 or email

District One lands several grants for 4K, new academy

By Stephanie Summerlin

Anderson School District One Board will start off the 2002-03 academic year with several new grants in its coffers.

At the July school board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler announced the district had been awarded funding to enhance a program he says is aimed at children most in need of preschool education.

“One of our goals as a district in the past has been to expand our 4K program,” Fowler says. “Over the years the board has approved the expansion of that program using money from First Steps and other state sources. We have the opportunity this year to expand it again.”

Grants will fund new four-year-old kindergarten morning programs at Concrete and Palmetto elementary schools.

“Next year, we are serving, for the first time, 220 4K students,” Fowler says. “That represents about 45 percent of all the eligible four-year-olds in this district.”

Another grant the district will boast this year stems from the success of Palmetto High’s Freshman Academy program.

Wren High, using Palmetto’s Freshman Academy model in applying for the federally-funded Smaller Learning Communities grant, will receive approximately $167,000 for the next three years. The money will benefit Wren’s development of its own Freshman Academy.

The Smaller Learning Communities grant is designed to provide funding to enable large high schools – those with 1,000-plus students – to undertake the development of smaller learning communities within their schools. This, say those behind the grant, will allow students of large high schools to gain more individualized attention and instruction.

“We didn’t leave Palmetto out of this,” Fowler says. “Palmetto will provide technical assistance to all of the school districts listed. In addition, they will participate in any activities that Wren High School offers their students. This is a great opportunity for our school district.”

Anderson One also scored big in the 2002 EIA grants awarded by the state. More than 30 teachers in the district earned grant money for various programs – which, according to Fowler, represents 5 percent of all money awarded by EIA throughout the state.

Besides the positive news on the grant front, the board also offered its monthly financial report. According to District Business Manager Steve Uldrick, early school year figures show income of $2,185,138, or 4 percent of the year’s budget, and $1,785,112 in expenditures, or 3.5 percent of budget.

The board also approved final reading of the consideration to change the district’s Policy GBGA, which eliminates a $10 reimbursement for employee physicals.

The first reading of a proposed change to the district’s graduation ceremony policy was also presented. The board will vote in its August meeting whether or not to allow students one unit short of the 24-unit graduation requirement to participate in commencement exercises prior to attending summer school.

Dr. Reggie Christopher, school superintendent, reported that the district’s newest facility, Powdersville Elementary, has been up and running for four weeks. Concrete Elementary is also undergoing structural changes, including removing walls to expand its kindergarten and paving the school’s road and bus circle.

The board also passed a resolution to participate in grassroots efforts forged by the South Carolina School Boards Association.

The following personnel changes were also presented to the board:

Request for leave of absence – Amy Godfrey, Hunt Meadows Elementary, fifth grade.

Resignations – Jennifer Dahms, Spearman Elementary, kindergarten; Emily Gilstrap, Wren High, science; Julie Woodhouse, Hunt Meadows, first grade.

Transfer – Susan Merritt, from .5 FTE at Powdersville Middle to .8 FTE at Powdersville Middle (.5 FTE) and Wren High (.3 FTE).

Recommendations – Charles Edmondson, Wren Middle, assistant principal; Greg Abercrombie, Palmetto High, social studies; Melissa Blair, Palmetto High, band director; Kelly Brown, Spearman Elementary, kindergarten; Kimberly Farley, Palmetto Elementary, 4K (.5 FTE); Cindy Gibson, Hunt Meadows Elementary, third grade; Davis Harrelson, Wren High, science; LeeAnn Regna, Hunt Meadows Elementary, first grade; Lisa Stokes, Wren Middle, elementary (part-time); Rick Taylor, Wren High, social studies; Blakely White, Cedar Grove Elementary, first grade; Jackie White, Powdersville Middle, language arts (part-time); and Candace Davis, Concrete Elementary, 4K.







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