Another event building isn’t needed

"The Teacherage", located next to Azalea Park on W. 5th South Street, which was previously owned by James and Hazel Berry before the Town of Summerville purchased it in 2008. (Brad Nettles/ 6/11/12

I have been reading in the Summerville Journal Scene and The Post and Courier about using the Teacherage as an event building in Summerville.

This is not a good time to create an event venue in Summerville or anywhere in this area. Summerville recently lost one venue due to a lack of business. The Woodlands in Summerville is not used as much as it could be.

Many old Summerville families do as they have done for years and put tents in their backyards for weddings and parties. They are not going to rent a facility.

I am an event planner in the area and know firsthand how hard the industry has been hit by the economy. The Charleston area used to be the No. 2 destination wedding town in the country. It isn’t any longer. Families still plan weddings, but guests can no longer afford to go to a destination wedding. Many weddings also cost far less then they did two or three years ago.

The Teacherage, also known as the Berry House, holds approximately 75 guests. The average wedding in town is 150. The house is a 19th century home. Can the bathroom accommodate 75 guests, let alone 150? Is the house handicapped accessible? What about air conditioning? Parking, lighting and toilet trailers must be considered. Are there hookups?

Then there is the cost of dishes, glassware, silverware, dance floor, tables and chairs.

The above runs you about $10,000, even before the florist, caterer, possible liquor, photographer and band. Is their a noise ordinance?

If the town is trying to make money from events, it is going to miss the mark. The house could be rented to a company for a constant income that would pay for the taxes and upkeep.

I hope that Town Council thinks twice.

As a Summerville taxpayer I don’t want my money going for an event venue that is only going to cost us money, not make money for the town.

Cris Bernstein

Prestwick Court