MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - With rapid growth in Mount Pleasant, parents have been anticipating the opening of the town’s second public high school, which is slated for fall.
Lucy Garrett Beckham High School is the first new high school built in the Charleston County School District in 10 years.
The school, off of Mathis Ferry Road in Mount Pleasant, is still on schedule to be open by this upcoming school year despite schools being closed for the rest of year because of COVID-19.
Construction on this new $100 million high school broke ground almost two years ago.
Project officials say they've seen minimal impacts of COVID-19 with the construction development for Beckham High School.
Officials say most vendors and suppliers are still getting materials out to them and all crews are still working.
They say most exterior work is finished. All of the athletic and recreational fields are in place, and crews are currently finishing laying parking spaces.
They have also moved to installing indoor cabinets, painting the walls, and laying down flooring now on the inside.
This three-story building will have about 70 classrooms.
CCSD Executive Director of Capital Programs Reggie McNeil says school officials and the project team are excited to finally see their vision getting close to completion.
“We’re so close to seeing what this schools actually going to be," McNeil says. “Here recently, if you drive down Mathis Ferry Road, and you just look at it, stop for a second if you can and look at that front entrance. You will be amazed just by the massive columns we have in place right now and then the three-story and the atrium as you walk into the space and we’re very excited about the opening that;s going to be coming in the future.”
While it's still unclear with COVID-19 regulations whether students will be allowed on site for summer programs, McNeil and Lucy Beckham administration says sports fields will be ready to go for fall sports to practice this summer, if they are allowed.
Beckham High School Principal Anna Dassing says the high school is currently doing virtual registration for students who are new to CCSD.
“I just want to encourage everybody that we are working really hard, that we are continuing to plan. We have not slown down, if anything, we’ve accelerated our process just a little bit,” Dassing said. “We’ve just had to change the way we’ve done things, but we’re on schedule.”
Students and families have the opportunity to meet with a counselor over the phone or through video conferencing, like Zoom, to plan schedules and learn more about the school.
She says this process has actually made it easier to reach some families, especially those who currently live out of the area. She also says she's even talked to folks over the phone who are planning to move to the area for the new school.
Most teachers have already been hired to teach at the new high school. And now, Dassing says they are introducing all of the new teachers on their social media pages. You can find those introductions on their Instagram and Twitter.
Staff wants students to get to know their teachers, even if they can't meet them in person yet.
The school is currently planning how to do open house and tours while adhering to social distancing rules. They say this is something they hope to get online and on social media soon, especially if school closures extend throughout the summer.
McNeil will continue giving updates on the construction process every month at the school’s website.
The 245,00 sq. ft. school that will be located on 44-acres is nearing completion of construction.