090717 Schools: District will buy tract next to Coastal Montessori
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Avery Ford, 6, looks at a molting chameleon with his dad at a recent open house.

Schools: District will buy tract next to Coastal Montessori

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

While most of the Georgetown County School District’s $165 million capital project is going into bricks and mortar, it also plans to buy a commercial tract on Highway 17 next to the Coastal Montessori Charter School.

The 2.6 acres at the corner of Highway 17 and Barony Place is adjacent to the 6.9-acre charter school campus. The school bought the larger tract in 2014 for $694,000 and completed construction of a building last fall.

The land purchase was the best use of the funds allocated for the charter school in a 2016 bond referendum, said Rob Horvath, who chairs the Coastal Montessori board.

“Hopefully, the district will give us a long lease at a low rate,” he said.

Charter schools receive public funds, but are exempt from some state regulations. Coastal Montessori is chartered by the county school district. The school is to receive a total of $800,000 through the bond referendum.

The district has bought property for future use near other school sites, Superintendent Randy Dozier said. “It’s probably a little more costly, but it’s less than the going price,” he said.

The district will pay $380,000 or about $146,000 an acre. Nearby property is selling for $200,000 an acre, Dozier said.

The school has no immediate plans for the property. Its charter calls for 245 students in grades one through eight. It began an eighth-grade program this year. There are no plans for a high school, a concern raised by some residents when the school selected the site on Highway 17 at Old Plantation Drive.

The school may eventually want to build a gym, Horvath said.

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