Teachers say classrooms almost in order for relocated schools

By Jordan Smith

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As the first day of school draws closer for Charleston County students, so does the deadline to finish relocating five schools deemed seismically unsound.

It has been a busy summer for teachers in those five schools as they move their classrooms to new facilities.

Pointing out the new flooring and fresh paint on the walls, Sullivan's Island Elementary Principal Susan King said the move into Whitesides Elementary is still a work in progress, but even the most vocal critic of the relocation has been supportive of the outcome.

"There has not been a single parent that has come by to enroll their child or to visit that hasn't been pleasantly surprised," King said.

King said the parents are surprised by the larger building and newer equipment, a nice change for the next three years as Sullivan's Island Elementary is upgraded to become earthquake safe.

She said the biggest challenge hasn't been the move, but in making sure the children will feel at home in an unfamiliar place.

"We even have a blue line that I had put in the tile, exactly like at our old school," King said.

Beginning Aug. 18, students will be walking the line -- a familiar exercise in an unfamiliar hallway. The principal says by implementing the blue line she hopes the children will feel more at home.

"It's been a very busy summer, but we're excited because of this impact that was made," King said. "It hasn't been easy, but it's going really well.

And that impact wasn't felt just at Sullivan's Island; four other schools spent the summer packing up and moving to new facilities. Buist Academy moved into the former Wando High School; Memminger and James Simmons elementary schools moved to Brentwood Middle School and Charleston Progressive Academy moved to the Berry Campus.

Teachers in Charleston County officially return to the classroom Friday and school board officials say all of the relocated schools will be ready in time.

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