Residents of a neighborhood where Berkeley County School District wants to put a new elementary school agree a school is necessary. They just don’t want it near their houses.

“We realize that a school is needed in Hanahan,” said Al Calafiore, who said he paid a premium for his property in the Ibis Glade section of Tanner Plantation and was assured no one would build behind him on land owned by Charleston Water System.

Now the district is under contract to purchase 28 acres of that land, which borders the Goose Creek Reservoir, for a new elementary school as part of the $198 million building campaign. The sale is contingent on a rezoning approval from Hanahan City Council.

The unnamed school will ease overcrowding at Goose Creek Primary, Sedgefield Intermediate and Hanahan Elementary.

“The majority of the people in that area voted for a new school,” said Superintendent Rodney Thompson. “We are just trying to deliver what they asked for.”

Scheduled to open in August 2015, the school is still being designed, but opposition has grown since the district held a meeting last month to unveil proposed attendance lines.

Several residents attended Tuesday’s school board meeting to express their concerns, which include increased traffic, the loss of a nature preserve/wildlife habitat, suitability of the land for building, the buffer between the school and the surrounding houses, and the effect the proposed attendance lines would have on creating economically and racially diverse schools.

“These are very real concerns and there are plenty of them,” said resident David Pelletier.

Thompson said it’s still early in the process and the district is willing to consider residents’ input.

“If we do move forward with this, we will do whatever is in our power to be good neighbors,” he said.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or