Dorchester District 2 building new schools

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The Dorchester County school board has finalized a site for two of the four new schools that will be built. It's all part of the $179 million program residents voted for on the November ballot to help ease overcrowding.

Officials with the district say finding land in Dorchester County was difficult because most of it was already occupied. Now, they have several locations for the elementary schools and one huge area of land that will be a combined elementary and middle school.

The combined school will be near Summers Drive and Highway 61. It will be modeled after Eagle Nest Elementary and River Oaks Middle School, which share a site. By using that model, the district says it will save about $3 million.

The land for the combined school was donated by Mead Westvaco, a developer who also put up $2.5 million dollars for a new auditorium.

Westvaco plans to build a large community across from the school.

Officials with the district say they hope the schools will be enough to keep up with the booming population.

"We try very hard to predict what's going to happen," said Gail Hughes, school board chairman. "We actually did a study to try and predict that so that we would not be behind the eight ball basically whenever these schools open, but there is no way of really predicting that."

Another elementary school will be located near the Coastal Center on Miles Road. The district is still in negotiations for the third.

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