CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County School District is moving forward with plans to expand its Early College High School Program with a new support building in Downtown Charleston’s Eastside Community. It would replace an old elementary school, the Wilmot J. Fraser campus that’s been closed for more than 10 years.
CCSD is moving forward with plans for a new support building at the location of the Wilmot J. Fraser building, replacing the historic school in the Eastside community. Some community members living nearby say they support the district but have some concerns with the construction plans.
“As much as we love the school, the more we find out about the plan – the worse it gets,” says Steve Bailey, a resident on Charleston’s Eastside.
Charleston County School District leaders are hoping to enhance the district’s Early College High School Program by replacing the Wilmot J. Fraser elementary with a new support building. Some residents say they aren’t happy with the plan.
“First of all, this is a very historic school,” says Bailey. “Lots of people from this neighborhood have gone to this school and the school district says they’re going to tear it down. We need to understand why you need to tear it down.”
The new building was approved by Charleston County voters back in November of 2020 using tax dollars to fund the build. The new building would span 60,000 square feet costing just over 30 million dollars. The Fraser building has sat empty since its closing back in 2009.
“We want to make sure the Early College High School Program has everything it needs to be the best school it can be for the students that go there,” says Andrew Pruitt, Director of Communications for the school district.
The school district says the goal is to enhance education and expand its early college program by offering better services for students and staff in the new building.
“A cafeteria where they can congregate, science labs, additional classrooms, half a gym, things that other high school students from around the district have,” says Pruitt.
District leaders plan to meet with Eastside community members Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. at Trident’s Palmer Campus Auditorium to present plans for the build and answer questions. Some living nearby feels they deserve a seat at the table when it comes to making the final plans.
“We want to make sure people understand the processes and if there is something we need to be considerate of, please share that with us,” says Pruitt.
“Let’s build it right for heavens sakes,” says Bailey. “Let’s listen to the neighborhood a bit. Let’s find a way that we can all be good neighbors together.”
More information and design plans along with a project update can be found on the Charleston County School District’s website here.