By Tess Malijenovsky
Riverview Charter School outgrew its location on Burroughs Avenue when 114 new students, 456 students total, enrolled for the 2012-2013 school year. The charter school spent its summer break relocating to the vacant Shell Point Elementary where students will enjoy a much larger learning space.
The move will provide Riverview students and faculty with many facilities that didn’t exist at the Burroughs location, including 30 spacious classrooms, a gymnasium, a media center, a fully functional kitchen and more playground acreage. “At our old school our gym was our cafeteria. We did everything in one room,” commented Mandy Klepper, Operations Manger of Riverview’s relocation.
“Now the art teacher has tables outside of her room where she can actually go out and do art outside,” said Klepper. Riverview students will soon be able to spend more time learning in the sunshine.
Teachers are also excited for the ample space, according to Klepper: “Their jaws drop. They love it! They’re so excited that the students are going to have so much more room to learn and play.”
The Beaufort County School District released a statement in March recognizing the benefits of the move to Shell Point Elementary, not only for Riverview Charter School but also for the school district and the Beaufort community:
“Under current state code, Shell Point Elementary School, constructed in 1958, would be at risk of needing substantial renovations if not used as a school for two years or more. Riverview’s use of the building extends the facility’s viability for future use by BCSD while providing Riverview with a larger temporary home until it can raise the funds needed for its permanent facility.”
By the same token Riverview’s previous location won’t sit unused. Holy Trinity Classical Christian School has already made arrangements to move into the school on Burroughs Avenue. And although the faculty of Riverview is excited for their new school building, Director Alison Thomas says it will not affect Riverview’s long-term plans to build a permanent campus on Old Salem Road: “This new lease is for a two-year term (with two, one-year extensions) so our building plans continue to be a top priority.”
By Tess Malijenovsky