BUILDING OUR CITY: KERSHAW COUNTY

KEY PLAYERS

* Name: Ken Queen

Job: Broker with Coldwell Banker and independent developer

Role in Lugoff-Elgin: Involved in the development of nine subdivisions, with three more underway

Why I invested in Lugoff-Elgin: “I actually lived in the Lugoff-Elgin area for 12 years and saw the potential there,” he said. Continuing growth and the foresight of county leaders as growth in Northeast Richland spills over the county line also were factors.

What makes Lugoff-Elgin attractive: “The school district is kind of a sleeper. It really performs at a high level,” he said, adding that it doesn’t get as much publicity as top performers like Richland 2. Easy access to the interstate and major highways going into Columbia also help.

What’s next for Lugoff-Elgin: “I think you’ll see it explode,” he said. A new high school, increased infrastructure and continued commercial, industrial and residential growth are on the horizon.

* Name: Ellen Branham

Job: Agent with Century 21 Bob Capes Northeast office

Role in Lugoff-Elgin: A licensed builder, Branham and her husband have built homes in the Lugoff-Elgin area, where they live. Branham decided to go into real estate sales two years ago and said she likes it so much she wouldn’t do anything else now.

Why I invested in Lugoff-Elgin: “We’re from here. This is our hometown,” she said, adding that she has noticed the growth headed that way for several years and has ties to builders in the area. “This is definitely where it’s at, right now anyhow. That’s a good thing.”

What makes Lugoff-Elgin attractive: Good schools and low taxes. Plus, “it’s not quite as busy here” as Northeast Richland, and “the lots are a little bigger over this way.” Branham said you can get a three-quarters-acre to one-acre lot, which is “really hard to find in the Northeast area.”

What’s next for Lugoff-Elgin: More of the same. Branham said she doesn’t see the growth slowing. “It’s going in a good direction.”

YOUR INVESTMENT

WHAT YOU CAN GET FOR:

$100,000

Price: $124,900

Location: Brentwood Drive, Elgin

Description: three bedrooms, two baths, 1,295 square feet, large lot, deck, security system, new appliances and kitchen

Schools: Blaney Elementary, Stover Middle, Lugoff-Elgin High

$200,000

Price: $200,900

Location: Mauser Drive, Lugoff

Description: three bedrooms, two baths, 2,050 square feet, new construction, large great room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace, formal dining room, master suite with sitting area and large master bathroom

Schools: Wateree Elementary and Lugoff-Elgin middle and high

$300,000

Price: $281,000

Location: Middleton Drive, Lugoff

Description: three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2,766 square feet, new construction, front porch, hardwood floors, back porch, crown molding and granite countertops

Schools: Lugoff Elementary and Lugoff-Elgin middle and high

$400,000

Price: $434,000

Location: Lillifield Drive in Haigs Creek, Elgin

Description: five bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3,744 square feet, new construction, basement, front porch, deck

Schools: Doby’s Mill Elementary, Stover Middle and Lugoff-Elgin High

$500,000 and above

(Rare in the Lugoff-Elgin area. Most come with a significant amount of land.)

Price: $650,000

Location: Longtown Road, Lugoff

Description: four bedrooms, two baths, 2,400 square feet, 64 acres, three ponds and a stream, screened porch, front porch

Schools: Lugoff Elementary and Lugoff-Elgin middle and high

LIVING HERE

AMENITIES

* Wateree River landings. There are spots in Lugoff where you can access the Wateree River for boating and rafting. Access to Lake Wateree is limited, but county leaders are working on land for a riverfront park.

* Hospital. The Kershaw County Medical Center has a complex in Lugoff that features aquatic therapy, primary care and rehabilitation, among other services. A new complex is planned for the county’s new office park on White Pond Road in Elgin.

* Recreation. The county is just beginning construction on a new recreation complex, bringing football and soccer fields for the first time to the Lugoff-Elgin area.

* Shopping. More shops are beginning to spring up in Elgin since the county laid sewer lines last year, including a second grocery store. Serious shopping can be found in nearby Camden or just over the county line in the new Village at Sandhill.

* Library. Kershaw County library has a full-service branch on U.S. 1 with Internet access and hours every day except Sunday.

* Camden. The Lugoff-Elgin area is just across the Wateree River from the city of Camden, which features a number of historically important sites and horse activities, like spring’s annual Carolina Cup.

Neighborly advice

1 – The new recreation complex on U.S. 1 could eventually include a new library with an amphitheater, camping areas, a swimming pool and a recreation building with indoor basketball courts.

2 – Elgin hosts the popular Catfish Stomp the first weekend of December. In addition to rides, games and a Christmas parade, the event offers delicious catfish stew to warm patrons on a cold winter’s day. Some buy extra cups and freeze them to satisfy their catfish cravings throughout the year.

3 – The days of breezing down U.S. 1 unfettered are over. At peak rush hours in the mornings and afternoons, expect trouble making turns onto the route into Columbia. Elgin is still a one-stoplight town, but officials say they expect more traffic control measures soon.

NEARBY

(Distances from Lugoff-Elgin High School)

* State House: 30 miles

* Village at Sandhill: 12 miles

* Columbia Place Mall: 22 miles

* Kershaw County Medical Center: 8 miles

* Williams-Brice Stadium: 33 miles

* Columbia Metropolitan Airport: 39 miles

* Kershaw County Government Center: 7 miles

* Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina: 16 miles

Schools

Kershaw County School District

Enrollment: 10,028

Report card rating: Good

1301 DuBose Court, Camden

(803) 432-8416

Elementary schools

Blaney Elementary

1621 Smyrna Road, Elgin

Enrollment: 543

Report card: Good

(803) 438-3241

Doby’s Mill Elementary

1964 Fort Jackson Road, Lugoff

Enrollment: 638

Report card: Good

(803) 438-4055

Lugoff Elementary

994 Ridgeway Road, Lugoff

Enrollment: 610

Report card: Good

(803) 438-8000

Wateree Elementary

424 Wildwood Lane, Lugoff

Enrollment: 562

Report card: Average

(803) 438-8020

Middle schools

Leslie M. Stover Middle

1649 Smyrna Road, Elgin

Enrollment: 568

Report card ratings: Good

(803) 438-7414

Lugoff-Elgin Middle

1244 U.S. 1 South, Lugoff

Enrollment: 597

Report card: Good

(803) 438-3591

High schools

Lugoff-Elgin

1284 U.S. 1 South, Lugoff

Enrollment: 1,399

Report card: Good

(803) 438-3481

Schools under construction

The district is embarking on a $102 million school improvement plan to upgrade facilities. Projections say new elementary, middle and high schools will be needed there within the next decade.

BY THE NUMBERS

2005 crime statistics (Kershaw Co.)

* Burglary – 252 business and residential break-ins; 26 armed robberies

* Auto theft – 95 cars stolen

* Violent crime – One murder; 463 assault calls; 1,191 criminal domestic violence calls

TAX RATE

Annual taxes on a $100,000 home before credits:

* In the county: $1,067.20

* Inside the Lugoff Fire District: $1,112.80

SEWER RATE

Average residential bill: $20-$30 per month

Water rate

Average residential bill: $22 a month from the Lugoff-Elgin Water Authority

-Kristy Rupon

June 23, 2006  State (published as The State) 
Columbia, South Carolina
Page 94

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