Old Laing Middle School in Mount Pleasant to be demolished, replaced by Home Depot

Old Laing Middle School (WCIV)

Growth and development in and around Mount Pleasant has been a divisive issue for years. It's now an issue hitting home for many saddened to see what they feel is an East of the Cooper landmark slated for demolition.

The old Laing Middle School, which sits at the corner of 6 Mile Road and Hwy. 17 in Mount Pleasant, is scheduled to be demolished November 27.

A new Home Depot will go up in its place.

Former teachers and staff gathered to say their goodbyes Monday, some marking trees that have special meaning to them on the campus

Students like CeCe Mikell remembered the good old days and her brief stint in theater.

“Marilyn Austin’s production of Animal Farm was my first and last play, but it was really fantastic,” Mikell said.

Matey Ward, a former teacher at Laing, says the school is a history lesson about a time when education wasn’t fair for all.

“Laing was built as an equalizer school; as a better school for black children,” Ward said Monday. “Even though they had a new building, it was not an equal school by any means."

Laing was rebuilt in the 1950s after the Charleston earthquake destroyed the original building. The building has withstood the test of time and Mother Nature.

“My first year of teaching was with Hurricane Hugo, in 1989 I taught for 10 years here. This has always been my home. Laing has always been my home.” Becky Strong said.

The school integrated in 1965. Deborah Price would become the first African-American principal at the school post-segregation in the late 1990s.

“I became principal of this wonderful schoolm and we stayed here until 2009.” Price said.

It’s an experience price says propelled her career.

“I really learned to be a leader. This is where I met so many wonderful people who really were engaged and wanted students to learn.” Price said.

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