MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - For the first time, Mt. Pleasant students will have a second high school serving them this school year, helping relieve overcrowding at Wando High School.
Lucy Garrett Beckham High School opens to ninth and tenth graders on September 8.
The Charleston County School District offered a tour to local media on Friday.
Named after the cherished former Wando principal Lucy Beckham, the new 245,000-square foot high school cost $108.4 million. It sits on 44 acres and replaced the old Wando High campus.
Despite the potential challenges of finishing construction during a pandemic leaders said the school is on time and on budget.
“It has been interesting and hard at times,” said Harold Lee with Cumming Construction Management. “The contractor set up a good COVID program as they came in the building, all the workers were checked.”
Principal Anna Dassing said the building feels more like a college setting with a large atrium, indoor and outdoor eating areas, and a free-form 50-minute lunch time during which students can eat, study, make up work, and collaborate.
Students will also be grouped into CREW teams of 18 students or fewer who meet through their years here.
“A lot of times in high school, cliques form. You’ve got the music kids and athletic kids... CREW is a place where we hope to have a real diverse group of students so they can come together and get to know each other.”
The Beckham Bengals have a huge media center, a makers space and automated science tables.
Dassing showed us an example of a classroom where desks were spread out and said classrooms will have around 15 students to start out this school year.
Teachers were at the school practicing virtual education.
There are 70 classrooms in the three-story building.
“The site will also include a competition track and field and two practice fields, as well as parking for staff and students, and separate parents and bus drop-offs,” stated a fact sheet provided by CCSD.
The project was funded by the Education Sales and Use Tax Referendum of 2014.