Large sports arena added to proposal for second high school in Mt. Pleasant

Large sports arena part of proposal for second high school in Mt. Pleasant

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A sports arena almost the size of local college football stadiums could become part of the push for a second high school in Mount Pleasant.

The town's education committee is looking to team up with the Charleston County School District to make it happen.

The goal is for a shared sports facility.

Mount Pleasant Councilman Paul Gawrych said, "We're talking about a stadium/sports arena that could hold up to 15 to 20 thousand people."

Gawrych heads the education committee that voted unanimously Monday on a list of schools they say they need.

"The very first item is the Carolina Park Elementary School, that's our greatest need and the second thing is the second high school," said Gawrych.

Committee members want the high school to be built at the old Wando site off Mathis Ferry Road. It's now called Wando South, and houses Jennie Moore Elementary and Laing Middle.

"When you trigger the second high school, that then triggers the stadium/sports arena," said Gawrych.

The current football stadium is on the Wando South campus and Gawrych says it'll have to be torn down to make way for the new school.

"The focus is to have an independent, centrally located facility that both teams can utilize and also the town can utilize," said Gawrych.

Gawrych says he envisions the sports arena to serve a similar purpose as the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island, supporting sports and concerts.

"Football season's limited. This is going to be an expensive project and we want to be able to maximize it and get the best and highest utilization out of it," said Gawrych.

Gawrych and other committee members are hoping the school district will make the new high school a top priority.

Committee member Kate Darby said, "Mount Pleasant is the 9th fastest growing community in the country and we have one high school. We need a second high school, it's past time for that."

Wando High School currently has nearly 4,000 students.

The education committee will present its proposal at the town council meeting next Tuesday, July 8th.

If it is approved, Gawrych says town officials will then ask to meet with the school district about the plans.

Town committee members want the school district to pay for part of the cost of a new stadium, through the one percent sales tax.

Voters will be asked to extend that sales tax in November.

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