NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County School District (CCSD) leaders held a meeting to discuss the future of Morningside Middle School before it is set to be demolished in September.
Morningside Middle School has been in North Charleston since the 1950s, and Wednesday, CCSD wanted to hear from residents as they work to determine how to commemorate the historic school’s current building.
“My presentation was to really get the feedback from the community on what their ideas would be for how we can recognize the history for Morningside Middle School,” CCSD’s executive director of capital programs Jasmeen Shaw said.
That history is a complex one that dates back nearly 70 years ago.
“This particular building was opened in 1955,” Shaw said, “and it was predominantly opened for whites as a part of the ‘separate but equal’ timeframe that we were in at the time.”
The school began to integrate in 1983.
Morningside’s principal George White says he wants this commemoration project to acknowledge the school’s past while also highlighting the inclusive atmosphere that the school has cultivated today.
“We want to make sure that the parents,” White said, “the scholars, also the stakeholders, all community members have a voice in what is going to occur for the next 50 to 60 years at Morningside Middle School because it is their school.”
During Wednesday’s meeting, Shaw presented those in attendance with several ideas of how the building’s history may be preserved.
“Preserving the front façade of the building,” she said, “or a portion thereof. We also use placards on the outside of the building. We looked at providing bricks within the foundation of the school, just honoring maybe some of the classes. Also, just thinking about the inside of the building. When you first walk into a building, how can you recognize the history? And learn more about how the building got started? When it was founded? When it opened?”
CCSD officials say the preservation process is still in the beginning stages, and they hope the new school will be complete in August 2025.