No decision on location for Daniel Island-Cainhoy area middle school

No decision on location for Daniel Island-Cainhoy area middle school

DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley County's school superintendent took some heat Monday night at a community meeting about the location of a Daniel Island-Cainhoy area middle school. Some Daniel Island residents say they were told before the school improvement referendum vote last November that the school would be built on the island.

Daniel island school, which is kindergarten through eighth grade, has 1300 students, a hundred more than its capacity. That's why Berkeley County voted to do something about it last November.

"Sixty percent of the residents countywide voted to designate approximately $100 million to this area to build the much needed schools," says Superintendent Dr. Rodney Thompson.

Some residents say they were misled by the school district and its "Yes for Schools" campaign.

"Perhaps I was duped by the "Yes for Schools," but all the reading that I did prior to that vote was that the school would be located on Daniel Island proper," says Daniel Island resident Alicia Hughes.

"There was definitely a concerted effort to garner the votes of the electorate here to promise that the school would be built out here," explains Ryan Gilsenan, another resident.

Seventy percent of Daniel Island residents threw their support behind the $198 dollar school improvement referendum to fund five new schools, including a middle school. Thompson says the district is looking at various sites, how large the sites are, and transportation. Two of the options have the middle school off of Clements Ferry Road.

"This school has always been a community school, and I thought Berkeley County's best interest was to keep it a community school, a neighborhood school, and it seems like they have switched gears," says Hughes.

Hughes say building the new school off the island would be a long-term mistake.

"The community support for these middle school students is amazing, and you just won't get that if a school is plopped down in the middle of nowhere. It does not happen."

Thompson says the school district will form a committee of 16 to 20 members this week. The committee will research the best option for the middle school and present its findings to Thompson on November 22nd.