School overcrowding addressed in Mount Pleasant

By Nikki

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) The need to alleviate overcrowding in Mount Pleasant took center stage Wednesday. The Charleston County School District addressed the problem during a special Mount Pleasant council meeting.

Superintendent Nancy McGinley told council members that through 2016, the school district will have invested $375 million in new buildings or expanded buildings in Mount Pleasant.

"I do want to get something going in Carolina Park so parents are not forced to send their children to overcrowded schools," said McGinley.

Councilman Chris Nickols said he wants to see money set aside for the new Sullivan's Island Elementary School repurposed for a new elementary school on the northern end of Mount Pleasant.

"It's a divided community over the necessity of the school. It's in a lawsuit that's going on right now," said Nickols. "Let them sort out their differences on Sullivan's Island and then determine whether we even need a school on Sullivan's Island."

McGinley says that decision would have to be made by the board.

"I can't say 'Don't build Sullivan's Island and build Carolina Park' -- that's not under my authority," McGinley said.

The superintendent said the district has the land for a new elementary school just not the funding.

"What I've encouraged our staff to think about and what I even mentioned here is starting to think about reusing other empty facilities in Mount Pleasant," she said.

As for a second high school in Mount Pleasant, McGinley said that's not out of the question

"The biggest facility that will come empty in August 2015 is the old Wando campus, so we may need to recommend a school community task for to get established to think about how that could help the situation," said McGinley.

The superintendent says the earliest the district could get new funding to help build new schools is 2017.