CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Residents in Charleston’s Eastside neighborhood are concerned about plans for a new fence at a historic park.
The Charleston County School District is planning to restore the Southeast Quadrant of the Hampstead Mall. If approved, the project will include a new fence with an 8-foot wrought-iron gate.
“We want to make sure that the fences are six feet high to make sure that it aligns with what you would see at other schools that our students attend when it comes to a facility that they might use,” said Andy Pruitt, CCSD’s Director of Communications.
According to Pruitt, they have submitted this plan to the city’s Technical Review Committee. However, Eastside resident Steve Bailey said the community wasn’t involved in this process.
“It’s not just about the fence. It’s about the trust and the trust has really been broken here. We thought we were going to work together and turns out that they’re basically hiding the plans,” claimed Bailey.
Bailey said he and his neighbors have been trying to get access to the park for three decades. They had hoped to see the fence removed.
“We don’t want a fortress; we want an inviting city park. That doesn’t seem unreasonable. We’ve waited 30 years to get inside this park. It’s a public park being built with public money, but the public has nothing to say about it and that doesn’t make any sense,” said Bailey.
The park is located outside of an old school building CCSD is planning to revamp in a few years as part of the Early College High School, which currently uses Trident Technical College’s Palmer Campus for its students.
Pruitt said they want to give students a safe place to use even before the upcoming school renovation. He also said residents will have access to the park.
Neighbors want to see the city’s Board of Architectural Review process made public for the project.