CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District has made a significant land purchase that will be used for a new 6,000-seat regional sports stadium for four high schools in North Charleston.
School district spokesman Andy Pruitt confirmed Monday that the district recently paid Rushmark Montague LLC $11.5 million for a 38-acre tract which sits near West Montague Avenue and Dorchester Road.
North Charleston High School, R.B. Stall High School, Military Magnet Academy and Academic Magnet High School will share the new stadium for football, soccer and lacrosse games.
There will be an artificial turf field and is expected to be completed within the next two years.
Eric Preston's daughter graduated from Military Magnet.
"At that time they didn't have a field to call their home field. It's a great idea especially for them they'll have a facility to play with," Preston said.
The stadium will be located on W.Montague Avenue near the I-526 on ramp which is also around the corner from the North Charleston Coliseum.
Out of the four schools, North Charleston High is the only one with an on campus stadium.
It's stadium will be replaced with a Center for Advanced Studies.
Jeff Borowy is the Chief Operating Officer for CCSD and says students deserve to play at good facilities.
"That stadium is built to last. It's very durable. It's weather resistant as far as the turf goes and we can change the lighting and setting of the field to represent that home team," Borowy said. "It will have a personal feel."
The stadium will also be built with an opportunity to expand with future business partners for multi-purposes uses.
Onerea Champaigne lives in North Charleston and enjoys watching the teams play,
"Yeah that'll be a good thing... they can see something different something real like an NFL field." Champaigne said.
Varsity teams will alternate home games on Friday nights and Saturdays while JV teams will be able to use the stadium during the week.
While many people support the idea of the shared stadium, others say they hate to see the historic North Charleston stadium go.
"I know that the bands will enjoy it as well and their competitions," Borowy said "With an artificial service we expect that the facility can be used every single day. We won't have weather problems postponing things because the ground is too soft."
The North Charleston High School Athletic Director says he supports what's best for the students. The Center for Advanced Studies that will be replacing their stadium will prepare the students for the workforce.
The funds for constructing the stadium will come from a referendum Charleston County voters passed in 2014. It stated that a one-cent sales tax hike would be extended through 2022 and go toward funding 35 different school construction and renovation projects.
The construction of a new shared stadium for District 4 was one of those projects on the list. It is expected to be completed by the fall.
School district officials say tax payer money was used for the purchase of the land, but it comes from part of the budget that must be used for capital projects and not teachers and school operations.