CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District board approved a plan on Monday that will put all West Ashley middle school students on the same campus next school year.
Four board members first proposed the plan on Wednesday, and it only needed Monday’s vote to become official. It will put all of the area’s sixth, seventh, and eighth graders on the new $50 million middle school campus being built next to West Ashley High School.
“It would consolidate all district 10 students on the new C.E. Williams Middle School campus,” CCSD Board Vice Chair Kate Darby said. “This alternative allows all the benefits of the original board action to remain intact, and it eliminates many of the logistical concerns we have heard associated with the one-grade, stand-alone school.”
The new policy changes the previous plan the board approved in November. That plan was set to send all sixth graders to West Ashley Middle School and all seventh and eighth graders to the new C.E. Williams Middle School.
“Although the new building does not currently have enough seating capacity to contain the entire sixth to eighth grade student body, staff has confirmed the ability to add trailers, thereby increasing capacity to support all three grades,” Darby said.
The trailers could be phased out after the opening of the newly-constructed West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies, she added. That building is set to open on the same campus in August 2021.
The hallways and the cafeteria in the new middle school building have all been built for more students, Darby said.
“The only place we’re short is classroom space,” she said.
And according to the proposal, C.E. Williams was designed for additional classrooms to be added to expand student enrollment.
The board met at 3:30 p.m.