CCSD approves plans for building new Stono Park Elementary

CCSD approves plans for building new Stono Park Elementary
Source: Live 5 News

The Charleston County School District board approved a plan on Monday to build a new $24 million Stono Park Elementary facility at the former Garden Street site.

"Stono Park was supposed to be built in the 2010-2016 building program. It's the only project we didn't execute as it was on the ballot," board chair Cindy Bohn Coats said earlier on Monday. Coats said she was excited to make a move on this final project.

In fact, the vote comes after the project hit another roadblock in March over funding.

In 2010, voters approved a school one-cent sales tax increase to fund several school building projects. This included a multimillion dollar rebuild of Stono Park. Other schools now have new buildings and many felt the proposed $6 million renovation didn't suffice.  
"We were told that we were generating about $6 million in the one cent sales tax so I figured that if we held off a few months we'd have enough to rebuild Stono Park," board member Michael Miller said.
Building staff now recommend building a 500 student facility at the former Stono Park site on Garden St. campus with a $24.8 million budget contingent upon attendance zone of 667 students.

According to district documents, the contingency also includes no reduction in the number of students in Oakland and Springfield attendance zones. All three schools are current under capacity, according to district documents. Board members will vote Monday on the recommended action which already passed a committee vote 9-0.
"We were worried that we'd get to the end of this building program which ends Dec. 31 and not have enough money for Stono Park," Bohn Coats said. "We do. We get to keep the ballot promise. We're going to build a brand new Stono Park. That's great news for everybody. The only question now is when, where, when to start."
District officials said District 10's constituent board has also begun the process of redrawing attendance lines.

"They need to have the zones in place so that we can begin construction," Jeff Borowy, Chief Operating Officer for Capital Improvements, said. "If we know they've established those lines and they're implemented by the time we open in 2019, then we know we'll be good."
Some West Ashley parents still  wonder if rebuilding at Garden St. fits future growth of attendance lines.

 "One challenge that we are all a little worried about is where will this school be?" Ginger Bergstrom said "On Garden St. on 5 acres of Wappoo Rd. on 13 acres?"
Borowy said his staff recommends the Garden St. location though new construction was also considered at the St. Andrews campus as well as C.E. Williams campus.  
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