Summerville's new high-tech high school set to open; more school building on the way

Image by Ashley Ridge High School A January aerial of the new high school. A photo gallery of the school today is available.

Dorchester District 2's newest high school, Ashley Ridge High, is getting ready to open in all its high-tech splendor on August 21. But the Dorchester 2 board also has new plans on their plate.

Swamp Fox schoolThe new school's mascot is the Swamp Fox. Much more information about the school is available on its Web site.Live 5 News reports:
The school has all the bell's and whistles. It has wireless technology with smart boards and LCD projectors in every classroom and everything a high school athlete could wish for.

The school will have some 850 9th- and 10th-graders its first year, eventually expanding to 1,500 students for grades 9 through 12. That capacity is aimed at accommodating the area's explosive growth and crowding from Summerville High School (the state's largest at 3,172 students) and Fort Dorchester High School (2,225 students).

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A map of the school's attendance zones is available. Ashley Ridge will draw students from the Dorchester Road, Ashley River, and Old Trolley Road areas. A photo gallery and video by The Post and Courier shows much of the school.

Big plans

The Dorchester District 2 board is considering asking voters for $200 million in a March referendum, though nothing has been decided yet. The Post and Courier reports on those plans:
Board members informally agreed to the March referendum after touring the new high school. Pye said during a planning workshop following the tour that the district can't wait any longer to respond to the rapid growth around Summerville. The board didn't take a formal vote, but all agreed to work toward a referendum in March.

"Even if we do a referendum in March, we will still be 18 months behind schedule," Pye said.

The board plans to meet again next month and to try to decide how many projects could be done and how to convince voters to approve the money.

The paper goes on to talk about the need for new schools and some sparking thoughts about rolling a "green" approach into new plans.

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