Charleston Co. School District proposes new Awendaw school

Charleston Co. School District proposes new Awendaw school
Awendaw town officials are questioning the proposed location for a new school the Charleston County School District wants to build there. (Source: Live 5/File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District is again seeking approval to build a new school in Awendaw.

The plans were first denied by county council in August 2020. Typically, the district would need to wait one year before proposing it again, but on Thursday they are requesting the one-year requirement be waived.

Charleston County School District Planning and Real Estate Director Angela Barnette says their plans for the site haven’t changed, but they are hoping this time around the council will vote in favor of the plans.

The district is proposing building the school in the 7800 block of Highway 17, which is about halfway between McClellanville and Awendaw.

Awendaw town officials wrote a letter to the county in August opposing this school, and as of this week they say their feelings have not changed.

Awendaw Town Administrator Bill Wallace says the town wants a new school, but not at this location.

“It’s literally in the middle of a farm field with no support facilities around it,” Wallace said.

The Charleston County School District proposes building a new school at 7820 North Highway 17, which is about halfway between McClellanville and Awendaw.
The Charleston County School District proposes building a new school at 7820 North Highway 17, which is about halfway between McClellanville and Awendaw. (Source: Charleston County School District)

When the school district proposed the site last August, the county’s Planning and Public Works Committee denied it. Based on the minutes from the meeting, council members were concerned about future population growth. They said it was unlikely the area near the proposed site would see much growth anytime soon.

Wallace agreed the location is not ideal.

Barnette says the proposed location is the best possible location they can find, and they are asking to waive the one-year requirement out of respect to the property owner from whom they would be buying the land.

“It is very hard to find 107 acres of high land property,” Barnette said. “There are no wetlands on this property. There are hardly any trees on this property. So the impact environmentally is very minimal. If you want to find a more pristine piece of property, it’s going to be very very hard to locate. We searched for years to find a piece of property like this.”

Since the proposed new school in Awendaw was last discussed, there are now two new council members on Charleston County Council.

Barnette says they’ve spoken with council members individually, and they hope this time the location for the school will be approved.

The meeting was postponed until Tuesday at 5 p.m. because of the threat of severe weather for the Lowcountry.

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