In Dorchester County, plans are underway to build four new schools and tackle 12 other improvement projects. The total cost of the expansion is estimated at $187 million.

Tuesday is the first of three public meetings to discuss job creation and the economic impact of the work. School district leaders will also discuss how local businesses can take advantage of the projects.

The public meeting will be hosted by M.B. Kahn and will begin at 6:00 the auditorium at Summerville High School. This will be the first of three meetings that will be held to educate the community on subcontractor, vendor, and employment opportunities.

The expansion plans include 3 new elementary schools along with a new middle school with an arts emphasis, upgrades at several high schools, an aquatics center,  and a new district office.

A school district spokesman said crews will break ground on the three new elementary schools by next spring and open them by August 2015.  The middle school should open by 2016.