From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
In front of a crowded room with close to 50 concerned residents, the Berkeley County Superintendent presented a new site for a new elementary school in Hanahan.
The new site proposal comes after the school board received many complaints from residents several months ago. The original plan called for the school to be built behind a neighborhood in a wetland area, less than 50 feet away from homes.
"We were concerned about property values; we were concerned about children walking through our yard; we were concerned about losing the wildlife and all sorts of various issues," resident David Pelletier said.
Tuesday, a new plan was released to the public. This new site is centered around an area with less development but still close to the Foster Creek-Tanner neighborhood. That plan seemed to be well-liked by many who attended the meeting.
"I think a lot of people thought it was going to be ram-rodded down our throats, but I feel like the main driving force at looking at another site was the community," Ben Lewis said.
Dr. Rodney Thompson, the Superintendent for the county, said the community response and involvement is key to making sure this new elementary school is built to the residents' satisfaction.
That elementary school is expected to fit as many as 900 students. The plan is to have the school completed and ready to open by August 2015. For a community that only has one elementary school, Lewis said it is crucial to make sure the building is started as soon as possible.
"Just purely from the numbers we heard, there's over a thousand kids in Hanahan Elementary School, and they don't have fifth graders, it's just K through 4," he said. "It's a huge concern. That's too many kids. You're getting safety concerns all sorts of things with that many."
Thompson said the school board has agreed to begin the bidding process of the new school site. The board has 30 days to have the plans finalized.
Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.