Circuit Judge Markley Dennis said Friday he would rule for the town of Sullivan's Island and against residents who had sued Town Council because it would not hold a referendum on a large new elementary school being built there.

Sullivan's Island Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Kaynard said he welcomed Dennis' decision.

A group of residents have wanted an island-wide vote on whether the new Sullivan's Island Elementary School should be built no larger than the existing school and that the new school be submitted for review by the Town's Design Review Board.

But the Charleston County School Board, which wasn't a party in the lawsuit, decided the school should be built for 500 students. Work is well under way on the $26.5 million project, and the school is scheduled to open its doors in August.

It's unclear if residents will appeal. Rutledge Young III, who represented them, did not return a message Friday afternoon.

Town Council, not the Design Review Board, considered the school's design because the school land is not zoned, Kaynard said, adding that the town welcomes input and suggestions from all residents, even those who filed suit.

"We are a small community and we are all neighbors," he said. "Our government works better when all residents participate."

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.