Get moving on Hanahan school

(Staff/Photo illustration)

If school children in Hanahan follow the ongoing controversy over building a new elementary school, they're sure to learn one thing: how community leaders should not behave.

Finger-pointing and fussing by members of both the Berkeley County School Board and the Hanahan City Council have done the school children no favors.

All involved agree that the $198 million referendum, approved by voters in 2012, was to build five new schools and renovate 29 others. One of the new schools was to be an elementary school in Hanahan.

But construction of the school, which was to be completed by August 2015, is not yet under way because the board has not acquired a site for it.

The board proposed one site back in December, and Hanahan City Council refused to approve necessary rezoning,

That didn't sit well with at least one school board member who later sent an email to Hanahan Mayor Minnie Newman-Blackwell suggesting that Hanahan children might just have to be bused out of town if they couldn't work out a plan for the new school.

That added to city council members' angst this week over the fact that the school board hasn't yet submitted an alternate site plan, even after eight months.

They were so frustrated that they agreed to cancel a regularly scheduled council meeting so that council could attend and speak out at the school board meeting.

While this week's school board meeting ended with members and city council members agreeing to work together to get the problem resolved, they still have a long way to go to patch things up in the community.

It's been tense in the county since the school board banned volunteer coaches at district schools - a very unpopular decision.

But leaders are supposed to rise above the fray. The school board is to work for the good of students. And when that happens, it's good for the city, too.

The school board is scheduled to discuss the school site at its meeting on Aug. 26. School district administrators and city planners should waste no more time in figuring out a way to proceed with Hanahan's new elementary school.

Voters were promised a school and they should get one.