CCSD board votes to put bus lot at site of historic school on James Island

People were visibly upset and walked out of the room during Monday night's Charleston County School District meeting.

This comes after board members discussed putting a new bus lot at the site of a historic school, Gresham Meggett School on Grimball Road.

It was the first school built for African Americans on James Island.

Right now, buses are stationed at Fort Johnson Middle School on Camp Road but starting next year about 37 buses will need a new location so construction can begin to expand Fort Johnson.

Some residents in the area don't want the lot to be built at the Gresham Meggett location because of its significance.

District officials say that  historic building will be preserved, but they will have to tear down a part of the structure that was built at a later time.

During the board meeting residents spoke out about the bus lot being placed near James Island Elementary School School. That was the the initial proposal for the lot on the agenda, but after hearing those comments and the opposition from the community the board decided to move the location to Gresham Meggett.

That move did not make people happy and that's when a group of people walked out very upset about this decision.

Some of the concerns about a bus lot for nearby residents included noise, pollution and having the sight of buses from their homes.

District officials say air quality standards would be met, their would be trees around the lot as a buffer zone and it would have limited impact on transportation in the area.

During the public comments section a concerned resident said that "this situation was addressed about the bus parking and y'all had over a year to determine a great location and y'all heard our concerns then."

Some James Island residents are opposed to having a lot at both locations: Gresham Meggett and near James Island Elementary.

Another concern with putting the bus lot on the school site is that it could take a year or more for permitting and construction of the lot.

The buses have to be gone from Fort Johnson School by January and it has not yet been determined where they will go.

If the board had chosen the site near James Island Elementary the bidding process for construction would have began immediately after the vote.

During the discussion on the site some district officials said having the buses on James Island to service schools in James Island is the most ideal location for the buses.

Almost all of the bus drivers whose buses would be stationed on the lot live on the island.

Several other sites were considered, but some were not determined to be viable options.

Copyright WCSC TV. All rights reserved 2017.