BCSD presents Daniel Island with proposed middle school locations

DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- Parents on Daniel Island should know by early December if they will get the middle school many there have wanted.

On Monday, Berkeley County School District's superintendent presented parents with three options for the possible location.

"We're committed to making sure that we have a quality education for all of our children," said Superintendent Rodney Thompson.

Perhaps in response to Daniel Island's attempt to break away from Berkeley County, the school district addressed a big crowd of concerned parents at Daniel Island School.

Some parents, like Alicia Hughes, said the superintendent came with few answers.

"I was hoping for some more concrete answers. Perhaps a thoroughly researched plan," she said.

In November 2012, Hughes said she voted for a referendum that would allow the county to build five new schools, including a new middle school and high school for the Daniel Island and Cainhoy areas.

"Perhaps I was duped by the 'Yes For Schools' campaign, but all the reading I did prior to that vote was that the school would be located on Daniel Island," said Hughes.

However, Thompson says the ballot asked voters specifically if they wanted a school in the Cainhoy/Daniel Island area.

"They're one in the same.{} And so for them to that 'Yes 4 Schools' promised it and we didn't - I don't buy it," said Berkeley County Councilman Tim Callanan who also lives on Daniel Island. {}"As long as you're coordinating with that organization, you're responsible for what they say as well."

As for the middle school's future location, the first point would place the school on Daniel Island. The second option would place the school off of Clements Ferry Road near the new high school.{} Option 3 would build a magnet school off of Clements Ferry on donated or purchased land.

"I think Berkeley County has to own up to the fact that at some point we're going to need another school on Daniel Island," said Dave Williams, the president for the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association.

Williams said he's already gathered all the petition signatures to send off to Governor Nikki Haley requesting annexation into Charleston County.{}

"We'll evaluate what they said tonight. I really want to kind of hear from our residence and see how they feel," he said.{}

Depending on what homeowners say, Williams said that will determine how his team moves forward with secession plans from Berkeley County.

In the meantime, district leaders said they will form a committee on Tuesday to help determine the best school location.

The committee will include two members from each representative homeowners association, two members from each SIC/PTSA, two members from Cainhoy and Daniel Island, and two teacher forum representatives.

"I'm not for annexation.{} I just want Berkeley County to take care of the children that are currently in this school," Hughes said.

The superintendent says by Nov. 22, the committee will present its location proposal to him.{} From there, the superintendent will present that proposal to the Board of Education, which will have the final say.


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