SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Dirt piles and heavy equipment dot the land at 2015 I'on Avenue on Sullivan's Island. It's the future site of a Charleston County School District elementary school.
On Monday morning, district and school officials gathered for an official ground-breaking ceremony.
"We've got the foundation rolling and soon we'll get a steel package going and then we'll have vertical construction in the spring," School Rebuild Committee Chair Loren Ziff said.
Construction is expected to end in time for the 2014-2015 school year. More than 400 Sullivan's Island students will attend class at the new building. The old Sullivan's Island Elementary School was torn down after it was deemed structurally unable to survive a strong earthquake. In the interim, students are attending Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant.
"We're hoping we're back in August of 2014, cutting the ribbon and welcoming the children back to this location," District Superintendent Nancy McGinley, Ph.D, said.
At 74,000 sq. ft, the school will become the largest structure on the island, according to Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Perkis. The size of the school has been questioned by many residents of Sullivan's Island.
"It was an issue -- there's no question. And we're all sorry for it, but I think intelligent people who are civil understand there was a difference, it's over," Perkis said. "Let's come back together and work on things that make this island what it is: a special place to live."