BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD)— Students and teachers in Berkeley County may start seeing some old school buildings torn down this school year.
District officials say several of their schools and buildings have outdated wings that are past the point of repair. They say it will be more cost-effective to demolish the structures versus renovating them.
The District has composed a preliminary list of several structures for teardown as part of a 5-year Demolition Plan:
- Science Resource Storage Bldg. (Old Barracks)- 2,208 sq. ft. to be demolished
- Office of Adult Educational Services- 3,222 sq. ft. to be demolished
- District Office Annex Building- 2,434 sq. ft. to be demolished
- Office of Adult Educational Classroom Wing- 6,656 sq. ft. to be demolished
- Bonneau Warehouse (former Bonneau Career Center)- 26,095 sq. ft. to be demolished
- Cainhoy Elementary/Middle School (two 1956 classroom wings)- 22,600 sq. ft. to be demolished
- St. Stephens Elementary School (1962 front classroom wing)- 11,000 sq. ft. to be demolished
- St. Stephens Middle School (1958 vocational shop section and one classroom wing)- 7,284 sq. ft. to be demolished
Demolition could start as soon as this school year.
“This really is not an impact on the students. They are not in those wings. That is why these are proposed for demolition, so the student will not be impacted, except that those areas are no longer going to be there,” Katie Orvin Tanner, Berkeley County School District’s Public Information Officer, said.
District officials say that the Office of Adult Educational Classroom Wing is currently occupied with students, so they would need to be relocated during the demolition project.
The district currently pays to insure, heat and cool, and provide patience to all the structures listed above, but most are not occupied by students or staff.
They estimate that demolishing these structures could save $600,000 per year—freeing up money to invest in students and employees.
“As we can save money, we can re-invest money into our students, so, having that $600,000 opens up a lot of possibilities for what can happen in Berkeley County to better serve our students,” Tanner said.
The Berkeley County School District’s Finance and Capitol Planning Committee has recommended $100,000 to be used from the 2019-2020 capital funds to start demolition projects this school year. The full school board must approve the move before demolition begins.