JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County schools started the 2010 school year in August, but on Oct. 1, Stiles Point Elementary students and faculty dedicated their new school.
"It's a celebration of the new building for the kids," Principal Steve Burger said.
The new school took two years and almost $20 million to build and is located right next to the old building. Superintendent Dr Nancy McGinley said it was money well spent.
"Today's schools are built to prepare children for a future we never imagined," McGinley said.
Mayor Joe Riley said you could see the excitement in the students' eyes.
"All the services and music rooms and things students need in the 21st century," Riley said.
Riley said the school itself has been great and the building just needed an upgrade.
"They've been rated excellent for the last several years but now the children have a more modern building," Riley said.
Burger said the best thing about the new school is the technology. The school has a smart board in every classroom and an infrared microphone worn by every teacher, so that every student can hear regardless of their position in the classroom.
The security is tighter too.
"All exterior doors stay locked and all visitors have to come through the front door," Burger said.
With 49 cameras watching and recording 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But McGinley says schools nearby, like Harborview, and others across the county need an upgrade too, so they are pushing the penny sales tax to get money to build.
"In the next month or so our hope is that voters will pass the one penny sales tax and let us fulfill our promise to the rest of the county. It's for six years then it goes away," McGinley said.
Stiles Point was built to hold 620 students, but already they have 685. Burger said that is because so many students outside their district transferred in.