Former Dillon County student Ty'Sheoma Bethea speaks to the crowd at a ground breaking ceremony for Dillon Middle School. (Photo: AP Photo/Willis Glassgow)
DILLON, S.C. (AP) — Construction is starting on a new school in South Carolina more than two years after a student wrote Congress about the decrepit conditions at her school.
Sixteen-year-old Ty'Sheoma Bethea and officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for a new middle school in Dillon County.
In 2009, Bethea sent letters to South Carolina's congressmen asking for help, saying other schools had far better facilities. President Barack Obama recounted her plea in a speech to Congress.
The replacement of South Carolina's oldest school was made possible with a $36 million low-interest federal loan and a $4 million federal grant. The middle school is the largest of three Dillon County school projects to benefit from the financing. Officials also held groundbreakings on a high school expansion and primary school.
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