HANAHAN — Residents of the Tanner Creek Plantation area prefer an alternative site proposed for a new elementary school in Hanahan because it will impact fewer homeowners.
About 50 people, including several Berkeley County School Board members and Hanahan city councilmen, attended a meeting Tuesday where Superintendent Rodney Thompson talked about that 10-acre site in the Bowen community off Foster Creek Road. The board voted Aug. 13 to negotiate with Foster Creek Development for the site.
The district is also negotiating with the Charleston Water System for a nearby 28-acre site on the Goose Creek Reservoir, but area residents expressed concerns about traffic, the loss of a nature preserve/wildlife habitat, the suitability of the land, and the proposed buffer between the school and houses.
That site is not out of the running, but “I heard it loud and clear, ‘Please find us another option,’” Thompson said Tuesday.
The Foster Creek Road site affects fewer residents because there is less development in the area, he said. Plans for the surrounding area include commercial and retail space and single-family homes.
Those in attendance said they favored the smaller site for that same reason.
“I like that site better because it’s not in my backyard,” said Tanner resident Karen Clifford.
The smaller site became an option when district officials learned that the Tanner Plantation site would require a two-story school, board member Doug Cooper said.
“This looked like a really sweet deal,” he said of the first site. “As we did the soil testing and a lot of other things, one of the things that happened here is ... this building got pushed to two stories. As soon as we had to go to two stories and incur that cost, now maybe this (second) site does become viable.”
Thompson said testing and studies to determine the Foster Creek Road site’s suitability are currently underway, and the board hopes to make a decision within a month.
The school, which would house up to 900 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, is part of the district’s $198 million program to build and renovate schools to alleviate overcrowding at existing schools and accommodate anticipated growth. It is scheduled to open in August 2016.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or twitter.com/brindge.