MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A group of parents who call themselves the ‘Long Point Parents’ are voicing their frustrations about overcrowding at a Mount Pleasant high school.
They sent a letter to the Charleston County School District detailing claims of what they believe is leading to overcrowding and the need for portable classrooms at Lucy Beckham High School.
The letter claims that parents of students who live outside the zone of Lucy Beckham are buying properties just so their children can attend the school, and then lying about where they live full time on the district’s residency affidavit.
Charleston County School District’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Borowy, said the district takes these claims seriously. However, he believes there are other reasons for the overcrowding.
“We did not expect the numbers in Beckham to reflect less students going to our choice schools,” he said. “We have drawn kids out of private school to a rate that we didn’t expect.”
Borowy also explained that the use of portable classrooms is not a new concept for Charleston County School District.
“We’ve had other schools that have in the past and have in the future operated extremely successfully with portable units,” Borowy said. “Wando had them since the day that school was built.”
Since Lucy Beckham High School only opened its doors two years ago, News 2 asked why the possibility of overcrowding wasn’t put into consideration when the school was built.
“I would admittedly say that our projections for the school four years ago were not accurate, and I’m responsible for that,” Borowy said. “But I would also argue that the other 14 schools that I built in my time here were spot on.”
Looking back, he said there were two things that could have been done to prevent the overcrowding.
“We would’ve either built the school larger or changed the zone so that more kids stayed at Wando — it would’ve been one of those two alternatives,” Borowy said.
Moving forward, he believes the district’s enrollment projections will flatten out and won’t continue to rise.
Until then, district officials said the need for portables will be based on enrollment year to year.
“We will also work with the constituent board to determine if they intend to or if they are interested in rezoning and moving some of the zone back to Wando,” said Borowy. “That is certainly their call and staff will work very closely with them — but we are very comfortable right now with what is in place.”
Lucy Beckham is not the only school using portable classrooms. District leaders said they are used at other schools in the district as well, and it’s something they are working to improve.