New Awendaw middle and high school could be partially magnet
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - A potential new middle and high school in Awendaw has a chance to be a partial magnet school, and students from multiple parts of the district can be pulled to take part in a specialized curriculum.
Charleston County School District Board Members and the people of Mount Pleasant got to hear new details about the potential schools on Wednesday. District officials told people at the meeting, held at Laing Middle School, that a lot of the plans right now are just ideas with no specific timeline.
This new middle and high school would be located on 107 acres at Highway 17 and Jenkins Hill Road. As part of this plan, district staff presented concept maps with multiple options for rezoning.
Jeff Borowy, the Chief Operating Officer for the district, says this plan will be a challenge.
“Most of the times we build a school, we just build a specific zone of attendance for that school, but in this case, we want to have a number of students to offer the right programs for those students,” Borowy said. “So, we have to look out of the box and look for something different beyond the zone.”
District staff says one of the main challenges is making sure that each school holds a maximum of 500 students. This would pull in kids from D1, the Awendaw-McClellanville area, and some from D2 in the northern Mount Pleasant area.
Staff also say they are continuing to research desirable education options for a partial magnet school to reach that target enrollment.
“It’s going to be very important to let’s build the school from up, but at the same time, let’s figure out what we’re going to be doing inside,” Thomas Colleton, D1 Constituent Board Chair, said. “The curriculum needs a lot.”
There is currently no timeline on construction for the schools because the district does not know if this magnet option will be included. The district says it is possible that the earliest we can start to see construction would be in four years.
Jonathan Mars, a parent of two children at Carolina Park Elementary, says this could be an option for his family when his kids get older.
“But it does sound like they’re going to have very specific programs at the school,” Mars said. “So, for example, if there’s a great art program and my daughter’s really into art that seems like a great option to have.”
As of now, this project is not fully funded and the district says they do not have a price estimate.
They say the next step is to charter a blue-ribbon committee in mid-October that will look at enrollment numbers and look at the best options to make this project successful.
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