Residents of Hanahan agree that the city needs a new elementary school.
What: Meeting to get public input on the construction of a new elementary school for the Tanner Plantation/Foster Creek Road area
When: 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: Goose Creek Primary School
What they disagree on, sometimes emotionally, is where that school should be. Nobody seems to want it in their backyard.
Hanahan City Council held a special meeting Tuesday to hear residents’ opinions on proposed locations for a new elementary school planned for the Tanner Plantation-Foster Creek area.
In November 2012, Berkeley County voters approved a $198 million bond referendum to renovate and build schools. Since then, Berkeley County School District officials have considered several possible school sites in Hanahan.
The district is currently considering a 10-acre site in the Bowen community off Foster Creek Road, but when the Hanahan planning commission last month voted 7-0 to deny the district’s request to rezone that land, Mayor Minnie Newman-Caldwell decided to hold the public meeting. The issue will go before City Council on Dec. 10.
The district has also considered a 21-acre irregular-shaped site on the dead-end Williams Lane on a tract owned by the city of Hanahan and a 28-acre site on the Goose Creek Reservoir owned by the Charleston Water System. Some proposed building the school next to Hanahan Elementary School.
A standing-room-only crowd attended a 3½-hour meeting Tuesday, and after a city presentation and rebuttal from school representatives at times became heated, some residents felt frustrated.
“I feel like I’ve walked into a power struggle between Council and the Board of Education,” said resident Ben Lewis, who favors the Bowen site. “From what I’m hearing, we don’t have an outstanding site. We’ve got a couple of pretty good places, and now we’ve got to decide on which flawed site we’re going to put a school.”
Many residents complained about existing traffic issues and how they will be affected by a new school. Others were concerned about the areas surrounding the proposed sites.
“I have been pro-Bowen until people started talking about the recreation area,” said resident Courtney Humbert. “I really like the idea of having an outdoor area large enough for the kids to play and learn. That makes the best choice easy for me. If it were up to me, I’d go Williams Lane.”
The school district will hold its own public meeting to get input on Thursday.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.