MONCKS CORNER - A committee that spent the last several months studying the hot-button issue of a new school in the Daniel Island-Cainhoy area has come up with a solution that seems to make everyone happy.
The recommendation from the 33-member committee was to build a new school of choice with kindergarten through 8th grade students near the new high school, which will be on the Cainhoy tract off Clements Ferry Road.
"K-8 is the most logical and reasonable way to meet the current and future needs of students who will be living along the Clements Ferry Road corridor," said Herman Gaither, a retired superintendent of Beaufort County School District, who was hired as the group's facilitator.
The recommendation was presented as information at Tuesday's board meeting.
The committee "had a tough charge because you were trying to come up with a solution for many communities," said board Chairman Kent Murray. "It certainly appears that what you brought us is an outstanding recommendation."
The $198 million building program approved by voters in November 2012 included a new middle school to alleviate overcrowding at Daniel Island School, but Daniel Island parents did not want their children bused off the island.
When parents showed up en masse at community meetings, Superintendent Rodney Thompson decided to form a committee of parents from Daniel Island and the Clements Ferry Road and Cainhoy areas to study the school's location, grade configuration and type, such as a magnet school or school of choice.
In October, Thompson said the land for Daniel Island was donated for a K-8 school, and he would continue to honor that agreement.
Committee members said they support the recommendation.
"The recommendation as presented is a strong one and it's a good use of tax money and planning for future growth," said Daniel Island resident Ryan Gilsenan. "I hope the school board will consider it seriously."
Board member Sheldon Etheridge also praised the plan.
"This is an excellent recommendation that is obviously student-centered with education, safety and community growth at its center," he said.
The board will vote on the recommendation at a future meeting, Murray said.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.
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