A Summerville middle school is bursting at the seams

(Scott Garrand/WCIV)

By Lia

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - Cheers echoed throughout the Rollings Middle School of the Arts gymnasium Tuesday.

Officials with the "Yes 4 Schools" campaign made an urgent plea for a $179 million improvement referendum to pass for Dorchester District Two

If it passes, Rollings, a school built in 1924, would get a new middle school. There would also be three new elementary schools, and renovations to ten others.

Principal Kathy Sobolewski says all problems boil down to one thing: Space. That is something that has clearly run out, from the nurse's office to everything in between.

"At this point, there's nowhere else to go. There's not another space we can add a trailer. We have people sharing rooms as it is. We store things in the hallways under stairwells," Sobolewski said.

Like most throughout the district, the middle school has had a major growth spurt. There are now close to 700 students.

Teacher Nancy Dietch has been at the school for 26 years. She says the students and staff have truly outgrown the space.

"We have to make sure our backpacks are on the left and our bodies are on the right and we are real conscious of each other as we move about the room and sometimes we have to change up our plans because there's just not enough space," she said.

Other problems include this former band room. The ceiling collapsed last year, forcing band students into a trailer.

The school also shares a cafeteria with Summerville Elementary School. Because of that, students start lunches way before lunch time.

"I have to stop and wonder what heights we can go to if we had a facility that served our purpose," Sobolewski said.