2014 plans for Coosa Elementary School

in Voices by

By Bill Evans, District 2, School Board Representative and Beaufort County School Board Chairman

For a wide variety of reasons, the School Board has agreed to retain the fifth grades of Lady’s Island Elementary and Coosa Elementary in each of these schools in school year 2014-15.

Lady’s Island Elementary School has adequate space to accept this move without any difficulty, but Coosa Elementary School is near capacity and will require additional space. In preparation for the return of the fifth grade to Coosa Elementary School in school year 2014-15, the plan is to now have the present mobiles removed during the upcoming Christmas break (we will offer any for sale, but I question that any are worth the time and expense to move); we will likely level the structures and remove the debris to a construction landfill.

A five or six room self-contained enclosed modular building will be purchased for approximately $350,000-$400,000 and placed on the west side of the campus across the fire lane that circles the building; it will be connected to the main building by a covered walkway and probably be located no more than 50-60 feet from the main building (code requires that it be at least 40 feet from the main building). The new structure, as planned now, will have its own restroom facilities and will have complete internet, communication, and fire alarm and security systems.

Moving forward, the Student Services Committee of the School Board will work for a projected completion in April, 2014, on new attendance lines and the “enrollment triggers” that will initiate any movement of students.

The overall approach is to establish a long range plan for future student movement based on filling the capacity at a school. We believe this is the best way for families to understand and plan on what to do or will occur as population increases. One obvious point is that we will have to develop a timeline/enrollment basis at Coosa that will generate a new school on the Springfield Road site in a timely manner.

Editor’s note: This article was in response to a request from the Lady’s Island Business Professionals Association for what actions were going to be taken to ensure Coosa Elementary was not overloaded.