Even with the best care and upkeep, every homeowner will have to deal with plumbing issues at some point. But finding a reliable plumbing company in Metro Charleston is more challenging than you might think. That's where our plumbers in cityname, state, come in. We at Delk Plumbing are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality craftsmanship, the most reliable service, cost-conscious pricing, and long-lasting solutions. Whether you need help fixing a minor issue like a clogged toilet or you're looking at major water heater repair, we're here to serve you with excellence.
Since 1978, residents and business owners have had a trustworthy source for resolving a wide array of plumbing issues with the friendly folks at Delk Plumbing. We're proud to have built a reputation for exceptional customer service and dependable workmanship for residential and commercial customers.
We go to great lengths to understand our customers' unique needs. You can rest assured that our friendly technicians will arrive on time, work diligently to resolve your issues, and always treat you with respect and kindness. Whether you need help with routine upkeep or want to upgrade your home with new appliances, our staff is by your side.
When you boil it down to the basics, our goal is to treat you the same way we'd like to be treated: with respect, honesty, and top-notch service from experienced plumbing professionals. Delk Plumbing offers a full range of plumbing solutions for your home or business, including:
At Delk Plumbing, we take your plumbing needs seriously. Our licensed, insured technicians strive to get the job done right the first time, no questions asked.
Did you know that the average South Carolina homeowner uses around 100 gallons of water every day? It's logical to think that something may go wrong with that amount of water in constant use. Considering many homeowners wait until the last minute to address their plumbing problems, that's especially true.
Unfortunately, it's common for homeowners to misdiagnose or misunderstand the plumbing issues they're facing. And if they can provide a solution, it's only a short-term fix. Even then, making one wrong move could make the problem worse. That's why having a trustworthy team of plumbers in cityname, state, to rely on is crucial.
When it comes to plumbing for your home, Delk Plumbing provides a long list of services, from drain cleaning and hydrojetting to sump pump repair and water heater services. Is your toilet so clogged that you need to hire a professional? Do you think you might have a leak? At Delk Plumbing, we're here to address all of your residential plumbing needs, small or large. Need a water softener service? We can help with that too!
Whether you have an annoying leak or a more serious plumbing emergency, our team of experts is here to serve you with expertise and efficiency. That way, you can go about your day without being disrupted.
Some of the most requested plumbing services we offer include:
"When is it time to call a plumber near me?"
In terms of commonly-asked questions, this is a big one. Most people would like to think they'd know when they have a plumbing issue at home. In reality, plumbing problems can be pretty tricky to diagnose without the help of a professional. Many serious plumbing problems aren't easy to spot without a sharp eye and experience.
If you're unsure whether you need to call a plumber, consider these common signs that it's time to call Delk Plumbing:
With enough time, every shower and sink becomes susceptible to slow drainage caused by soap scum, hair, and other debris. These problems are typically easy to fix with regular upkeep and cleaning. However, if all the pipes in your home are draining slowly, your main sewer line may be clogged. If your home has a clogged sewer line, it can quickly become a nightmare. Call Plumb Pro ASAP, as clogged or blocked sewer lines are emergency-level problems.
Any spots are ugly when they stand out on your ceilings or walls. But if you see brown spots, you could have a leak in your attic space or elsewhere in your home. Water leaks are terrible all around, both from a repair standpoint and a health standpoint. You wouldn't want your family breathing in mold spores, after all. If you see spots forming on your walls or ceilings, call Delk Plumbing ASAP. Waiting too long could mean more expensive repairs and renovations.
Few things are as frustrating as taking a shower with low water pressure. If the water coming out of your shower head is unreasonably low, it could be a sign that you have serious pipe clogs. Delk Plumbing can help shed light on your low water pressure problem and take care of the problem quickly and efficiently.
When was the last time you checked the plumbing under your sinks or in your basement? If it's been more than a few months, make it a point to do so soon. Inspecting your home's water pipes for signs of discoloration is a must-do. Call a reliable plumbing company like Delk Plumbing soon if you notice strange colors on your home's piping. You could save yourself costly repairs and a whole boatload of headaches.
Delk Plumbing Pro Tip: Look for white or green stains near the joints and seams of your copper water pipes. If you notice such spots, your pipes may be corroding from a leak. Cast-iron pipes and galvanized steel that have red patches are most likely full of rust and are likely to burst.
Apart from flushing, your toilet should be pretty quiet. However, if you hear burbling noises at random times during the day, you might have a plumbing problem. Noticeable gurgles from your toilet might mean that your vent stack is obstructed. You could also have a severe sewer line block. Either way, this type of issue is best handled by a trustworthy plumbing company like Delk Plumbing.
Your water heater is a central part of your everyday life. From bathing and cooking to cleaning and washing, you need hot water in your home. But when your water heater is on the fritz, it can cause a long list of problems that snowball out of control quickly.
Fortunately, our plumbers in Knightsville, SC have the tools and knowledge to ensure your family doesn't go without hot water. Whether you need a quick water heater repair for a small problem or you need a full replacement unit, Delk Plumbing is here to help.
With the right maintenance and care, your home's hot water heater should last a long time. In general, a well-kempt water heater should last more than ten years. Like all things, however, nothing lasts forever. With time, your water heater will get to a point where it will need heavy maintenance or even replacement before your life is interrupted.
At Delk Plumbing, our team of experts can help repair or replace your home's water heater - whichever is best for your budget and your situation.
Is your family complaining that the hot water is out? Have you heard strange noises coming out of your water heater? If so, your water heater may be compromised. Here are a few of the most common signs you need to call Delk Plumbing for water heater repair services:
Your water heater is designed to give you hot water any time. That's why it has gallons of hot water inside. But if you notice your water going from hot to cold quickly without using the cold water, call Delk Plumbing. Your water heater is probably in need of repair.
When you get water out of the tap, it should be clear and colorless. If it's grey, brown, or rust-colored, chances are your water heater is to blame. Contaminated water is a big health issue, so be absolutely sure you don't drink it. Instead, call Delk Plumbing. Our team will be out to your house ASAP to help resolve the issue.
When you use your hot or cold water, you expect it to be hot or cold, not lukewarm or freezing. If you notice irregular water temperatures in your home, it should be a red flag. Call Delk Plumbing for a thorough, efficient water heater inspection.
While older water heaters will buzz occasionally, loud knocking and banging are not common for any water heater. If you hear unusual sounds from your water tank, it's time to call our team of plumbers in Knightsville, SC. Our specialists will inspect your system and provide detailed repair and replacement options for you to consider.
The drains in your home have one function - to keep materials and debris from entering your plumbing system, so your pipes and sewer lines don't clog. Unfortunately, even the most pristine drains will develop some blockages with time. When that happens, it's vital to call drain cleaning experts like Delk Plumbing to solve your problem. Otherwise, a small clog could spiral into a costly scenario you never expected.
Delk Plumbing has dealt with every kind of drain issue you can think of, from clogged toilets and sinks to stopped-up laundry and shower drains. Unlike some plumbing companies in South Carolina, we have the proper tools and experience to solve your drain problem on time, and at a price you can afford. Whether you have a minor clog that needs a simple hand snake solution or a complex issue that necessitates hydrojetting, we've got your back.
Our plumbers in Knightsville, SC, start with a meticulous inspection to diagnose your drainage issue. Once we know the extent of your problem, we'll explain the issue to you in easy-to-understand terms. We'll then explain the various ways we can remediate your drain clog, along with pricing and project ETA.
Our clients rely on us for a number of drain cleaning services, including:
As Knightsville's top choice for plumbing services since 1978, we've learned a thing or two about drain cleaning over the years. To keep yourself educated and up-to-date, here are answers to some of the most common questions we're asked:
Q:How many times per year should I have my drains cleared?
A:That all depends on what's going down your drains and how often they're used. If you have a large family, leftover grease from food and hair from showers will cause clogs quickly. In this scenario, you should clear your drains often. If you live alone and don't use your kitchen or laundry drains often, you shouldn't have to clear them as frequently as a large family.
Q:More than one of my drains is moving slowly. What's happening?
A:When two or more drains are moving slowly, you may have a main sewer line problem. These clogs are often caused by wet wipes, tree roots, and kitchen grease.
Q:How do you clean clogged drains?
A:That depends on the type of drain that's clogged. You can clean sink drains with simple household items like vinegar and baking soda. Other drains, like bathtub drains, are best cleaned with a zip stick to remove hairballs. If you're unsure how to clean a clogged drain, it's always best to rely on professional plumbers like Delk Plumbing. Don't make the situation worse than it already is!
Did your brand new gas range just arrive, and you need help installing it? Is something wrong with your gas line, and you need it repaired? Delk Plumbing isn't only a full-service plumbing company - we also specialize in gas line installation and repair.
As a general rule, if it involves gas of any kind, it's best handled by licensed, trained, insured professionals. One minor slip-up can be catastrophic when it comes to gas line installation and repairs. To ensure your family stays safe, Delk Plumbing is ready to serve all of your gas line needs, so you know your home is protected without question.
From broilers and gas grills to ranges and gas stoves, our gas line experts are here to provide you with peace of mind.
Delk Plumbing Notice: Do not ever try to install gas lines on your own. Always contact a qualified professional who can follow the strict regulations South Carolina dictates.
Delk Plumbing offers several gas line services, including:
When you need a residential plumber you can trust, nobody is more qualified to serve you than Delk Plumbing. With quick response times, years of experience, and stellar customer service, we can handle any plumbing job, large or small.
Unlike other plumbing companies in Knightsville, we aim to exceed expectations with transparent pricing that is easy on your wallet. No sketchy fine print. No awkward upsells. Only reasonable rates and the highest quality plumbing services in town.
Whether you need a simple leak inspection or a complicated sump pump replacement, we're here to help. Contact our office today so we can learn more about how we can serve you.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Tornado watches around the Lowcountry have been allowed to expire as Tropical Depression Nicole moves farther from South Carolina.Remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole put the Lowcountry under tornado watches throughout Thursday night going into Friday morning.Most of the watches ended Friday morning, and a watch for Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties ended just before noon. Two tornado warnings were issued in the Tri-County during the storm activity.A tornado warning was issued at 12:20 a.m. f...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Tornado watches around the Lowcountry have been allowed to expire as Tropical Depression Nicole moves farther from South Carolina.
Remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole put the Lowcountry under tornado watches throughout Thursday night going into Friday morning.
Most of the watches ended Friday morning, and a watch for Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties ended just before noon. Two tornado warnings were issued in the Tri-County during the storm activity.
A tornado warning was issued at 12:20 a.m. for parts of Charleston County, however, it expired at 12:41 a.m.
Another warning came Thursday afternoon as a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located at 5:17 p.m. near Knightsville The warning expired at 5:45 p.m.
The National Weather Service has not verified if any tornados touchdown during either of the warnings. Meanwhile, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division says county emergency managers across the state reported minimal damages. None of the managers requested state assistance.
Click here to download the free Live 5 First Alert Weather app.
FIRST ALERT// Storm Update// ONE MINUTE WEATHER pic.twitter.com/MIG0rt8Rkv— Bill Walsh (@BILLWALSHTV) November 11, 2022
Live 5 Meteorologist Joey Sovine says gusts to tropical storm force are possible Wednesday through Friday.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form, but does not indicate that any actual tornadoes have been detected.
Tropical Storm Nicole has sent multiple homes collapsing into the Atlantic Ocean. Nicole made landfall as a hurricane early Thursday near Vero Beach, Florida, but the brunt of the damage was along the East Coast well north of there, in the Daytona Beach area. Its damaging coastal surge was hitting beachfront properties in Daytona Beach Shores that lost their last protections during Hurricane Ian.
The Live 5 Weather team declared Thursday and Friday as First Alert Weather Days because of possible impacts from the storm.
Sovine says coastal flooding is likely through Friday around high tides with beach erosion and high surf also likely.
Sovine said heavy rain could be possible with rainfall totals between one and four inches. Breezy conditions could occur through Friday and winds may occasionally gust to, or over, 40 mph near the coast.
Nicole became the 14th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Monday.
As of 10 a.m., Nicole was a tropical depression with its center located near latitude 34.2 north and longitude 84.3 west, about 35 miles north of Atlanta, Ga. The storm was moving to the north-northeast at 23 mph and its estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb or 29.56 inches.
Forecasters say an acceleration toward the north and north-northeast is expected Friday.
On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will move across central and northern Georgia Friday morning and over the western Carolinas later.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Nicole is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone Friday, then dissipate Friday night or early Saturday as it merges with a frontal system over the eastern United States.
Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect for Charleston, Berkeley, Coastal Colleton and Beaufort counties. Gusts to tropical storm force(40+mph) are possible today through Friday near the coast. pic.twitter.com/VOkWBvcYTx— Joey Sovine Live 5 (@JoeySovine) November 9, 2022
City of Charleston officials say they will be closely monitoring the tropical storm. Crews have already begun preparing for potential storm impacts.
“Residents are asked to keep an eye on reliable local weather reports over the next few days,” Emergency Management Director Ben Almquist said in a news release. “If bad conditions do arise, citizens are advised to follow the guidance of Emergency Management officials and, as always, motorists should avoid driving through high water when they encounter it.”
The city’s stormwater department has prepared temporary pumps for low-lying areas. Crews will also be cleaning out ditches and drains in flood-prone areas.
To find out how you can help, visit the Adopt-A-Drain website by clicking here.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through Nov. 30.
Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach as a Category 1 hurricane at about 3 a.m. Thursday, more than a hundred miles south of Daytona Beach Shores, before its maximum sustained winds dropped to 60 mph, the Miami-based center said. The storm was centered about 30 miles southeast of Orlando. It was moving west-northwest near 14 mph.
Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami advised people to understand that hazards from Tropical Storm Nicole “will exist across the state of Florida today.”
Nicole came could briefly emerge over the northeastern corner of the Gulf of Mexico Thursday afternoon before moving over the Florida Panhandle and Georgia, he said.
The storm left south Florida sunny and calm as it moved north, but could dump as much as 6 inches of rain over the Blue Ridge Mountains by Friday, the hurricane center said.
Nicole became a hurricane Wednesday evening as it slammed into Grand Bahama Island. It was the first to hit the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that devastated the archipelago in 2019.
For storm-weary Floridians, it is only the third November hurricane to hit their shores since recordkeeping began in 1853. The previous ones were the 1935 Yankee Hurricane and Hurricane Kate in 1985.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – It was 1973 when Shirley McGreal, then living in Southeast Asia, saw beady bright eyes staring back at her from between the slats of a wooden crate.The eyes belonged to a gibbon — a primate native to the region — who had fallen victim to the dangerous world of the pet trade, where gibbons were being sold into homes, zoos, or labs, only to later be discarded.In 1977, McGreal created the Inter...
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – It was 1973 when Shirley McGreal, then living in Southeast Asia, saw beady bright eyes staring back at her from between the slats of a wooden crate.
The eyes belonged to a gibbon — a primate native to the region — who had fallen victim to the dangerous world of the pet trade, where gibbons were being sold into homes, zoos, or labs, only to later be discarded.
In 1977, McGreal created the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) in Summerville as a gibbon sanctuary. The now 47-acre property remains nestled in a quiet area of the Lowcountry that is illuminated by the sounds of the primates singing to one another.
Meg McCue-Jones, the Compliance and Outreach Manager, explained that the land was a sod farm in the late 70s and started taking in the gibbons that needed help soon after.
One of the sanctuary’s residents, Gibby, is one of the oldest known living gibbons at over 60 years old.
Like most of the gibbons at the sanctuary, his life started off rough.
McCue-Jones said that Gibby was wild caught, and “with every gibbon wild caught, they shoot mom out of the tree, hoping baby falls, and then they take the baby.”
He was first sold into the pet trade in by a Bangkok dealer, but that was just the beginning. Gibby went to labs at Hofstra University and the State University at Stony Brook.
Researchers embedded electrodes in his skin as part of a locomotion project.
The electrodes and thin wires were inserted into his muscles and connected him to a suit that would measure his muscle movements. McCue-Jones explained that this was obviously not an ideal situation on any aspect, whether it be a human or animal.
At 44, Gibby made it to his first sanctuary, but the conditions were hard on his body. In March of 2007, just four years after his arrival, the IPPL reached out to the sanctuary to relocate not only Gibby, but several other gibbons.
For Gibby, like the other 29 at the sanctuary, Summerville is his last stop. McCue-Jones says that the sanctuary is their forever home.
But with the pandemic, their home has become more difficult to manage.
With fear of COVID-19 spreading to the primates, volunteers were no longer allowed to assist with the many daily tasks necessary to keep the place running.
From hosing the outsides of the enclosures, to raking, food prep, and even assistance inside the office—the staff was left with mounting responsibilities.
The economic impacts of the pandemic left donors and community partners reeling financially, but the bills at the sanctuary remained steady.
As a non-federally funded organization, the IPPL relies heavily on donations to meet the needs of the animals.
Stacy Lambert, a Senior Animal Care Giver, said that since a lot of their population has started to reach geriatric ages, their vet bills are getting bigger as they are having more interventions and medications, different procedures, and checkup appointments with Dr. John Ohlandt.
While expensive, their system of care has proven to work.
Lambert says that in the wild, gibbons usually live about 30-35 years. However, in captivity, gibbons living into their 40s is normal. However, the IPPL has quite a few gibbons that are up in their 40s and 50s while, of course, Gibby is 62.
Although the interventions from the IPPL show the ability of the sanctuary, McCue-Jones said all those at the IPPL ultimately wish there was not a need for them at all, and that the gibbons could live freely in the wild.
McCue-Jones said, “as Shirley has spoken of before, if you really think about it, do humans need sanctuaries, should we have them? Should we be treating the animals this way?”
To send the Gibbons a care package full of nuts, click here.
To donate to the IPPL’s missions and day-to-day operations, click here.
To send specified items needed by the IPPL via Amazon, click here.
By Casey L. Taylor, JDTucked away near Summerville, SC – the place known as “Flowertown, USA” – is a sanctuary dedicated to gibbons (small apes). It’s a jungle-like wonderland that has lifesaving at the core of its mission.The International Primate Protection League (IPPL) sanctuary is a secret to many locals. It is situated on over 40 acres of land surrounded by lush woods. Neighbors are lucky enough to hear the songs and great calls of these interesting primates throughout the da...
By Casey L. Taylor, JD
Tucked away near Summerville, SC – the place known as “Flowertown, USA” – is a sanctuary dedicated to gibbons (small apes). It’s a jungle-like wonderland that has lifesaving at the core of its mission.
The International Primate Protection League (IPPL) sanctuary is a secret to many locals. It is situated on over 40 acres of land surrounded by lush woods. Neighbors are lucky enough to hear the songs and great calls of these interesting primates throughout the day and night.
The sanctuary is home to 36 gibbons, the smallest of the apes, who have been rescued or retired from laboratories, deplorable “roadside” attractions, or the pet trade. IPPL provides lifetime care to these incredible endangered species and works to educate the community on the plight of gibbons in the wild.
The gibbon residents at the sanctuary have indoor night houses that are hurricane-grade, expansive outdoor habitats, and aerial walkways that give them the choice to safely move about their designated areas as they wish. It is important to the organization that each sanctuary resident is given as much freedom of choice as possible in a captive environment, while keeping them safe. Despite most residents having a rough start to their lives, they thrive at IPPL. They even have some residents nearing the age of 60!
IPPL is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the world’s remaining primates, great and small. For the last 45 years, IPPL has made a global impact by securing an export ban on primates from Thailand (saving thousands and thousands of lives) and working with over 20 reputable primate rescue and rehabilitation centers in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America.
IPPL not only supports their efforts to care for native primates who have been rescued and are in need of rehabilitation or lifetime care, but also to thwart poachers and illegal wildlife traffickers, as well as educate local villages and communities on how they can help be part of the solution in preserving native populations of primates.
Small Team, Big Impact
With a small but mighty team of animal caregivers, maintenance technicians, office staff, and dog nannies, IPPL provides compassionate lifetime care for every resident, which includes nutritious and delicious fresh produce three times a day for the gibbons, as well as veterinary care and enrichment — to stimulate those intelligent minds of theirs!
Forms of enrichment vary from food puzzles that the gibbon must figure out in order to get their healthy treats, to special time with their favorite caregiver. Bubble-blowing is a big hit with some of the gibbons. Tong, who was one of the first four original residents at the sanctuary, loves a good foot rub — what girl doesn’t?
Absolutely nothing beats a life in the wild, but for these residents that is sadly not a reality. The team at IPPL feels that the least they can do is make the rest of these individuals’ lives the happiest and healthiest they can be. From residents used in invasive human vaccination studies and locomotion tests, to those kept in less-than-favorable conditions, IPPL’s sanctuary is a safe and loving place for them to thrive and to live as gibbons should.
Casey L. Taylor, JD is the Executive Director of IPPL.
MORE ABOUT IPPL
The sanctuary is not open to the public as an attraction, but it holds educational events in the community and offers options to visit during special times. Sign up to receive their e-newsletters on their website (www.ippl.org) and be the first to know about opportunities and events.
The droves of people moving to the Lowcountry for the low cost of living and plentiful jobs aren’t coming alone.Often those workers have families that include young children who will attend public schools. Of the more than 750,000 people who live in the region, about 22 percent are age 18 or younger, according to the Census Bureau.That growth leaves school systems struggling to keep up as they strive to find funding, space and dozens of teachers to instruct those new students each year.“Right now, we are tryi...
The droves of people moving to the Lowcountry for the low cost of living and plentiful jobs aren’t coming alone.
Often those workers have families that include young children who will attend public schools. Of the more than 750,000 people who live in the region, about 22 percent are age 18 or younger, according to the Census Bureau.
That growth leaves school systems struggling to keep up as they strive to find funding, space and dozens of teachers to instruct those new students each year.
“Right now, we are trying to basically take inventory of what we have, and trying to find different ways to deal with the growth,” said Berkeley County Senior Associate Superintendent Deon Jackson.
In many cases, districts’ annual growth is enough to fill a new school.
This year, for instance, Berkeley planned for 800 new students, but 1,400 came.
“And Volvo hasn’t moved the first car off of their plant yet,” Jackson said of the carmaker that plans to bring 4,000 new jobs to the county and will roll out its first S60 sedan later this year. “At this rate, there is no doubt in our minds that yes, we are going to need additional schools at some point.”
Dorchester, on the other hand, got an unexpected break this year. After more than a decade of 400 to 1,000 additional students per year, only 149 new students enrolled in that district this year. Officials had planned for 600.
Predictably, the schools near new development are the most overcrowded.
Cane Bay elementary and middle schools near bustling Carnes Crossroads are currently under the biggest strain in Berkeley, and the Philip Simmons schools off Clements Ferry Road are expected to feel a pinch in coming years.
Dorchester 2’s crush is in the Knightsville area on the district’s northeast side, where Reeves Elementary and DuBose Middle share a campus.
“We have a lot of development coming that could impact those schools,” said Dorchester 2 Chief Financial Officer Allyson Duke.
Lack of funding
But those new houses don’t contribute to school districts’ operating budgets.
State law, Act 388, limits the kind of taxes a school district can levy, including a prohibition on taxing homeowner-occupied residential properties for operating expenses.
“They build all these houses, but we don’t benefit from the property taxes from them,” Duke said.
Property tax bills reflect an amount for the school operating budget that is then deducted as a credit.
“There’s still confusion,” Duke said. “A lot of people do not realize that they’re not paying school operating taxes. They see it on their tax bill and don’t look and see that school tax credit at the bottom.”
Funding for capital needs like new buildings or maintaining existing ones has to come from somewhere else, often special obligation bonds.
“What we are trying to do is make sure that we’re utilizing everything that we have to the fullest extent before we start building additional schools,” Jackson said.
Charleston County, which is also growing by about 1,000 students annually, funds its building program through a 1 percent sales tax. The district expects to collect $575 million to fund new school buildings and renovations through the tax, first approved in 2010 and renewed in 2014.
But Berkeley and Dorchester 2 have both turned to homeowners. In 2012, those districts floated “Yes 4 Schools” campaigns with an eye toward easing some of the overcrowding that existed then.
At the time, they said several schools housed hundreds more students than they could comfortably hold and students were being taught in trailers, work rooms and libraries.
Seventy percent of voters in Berkeley approved the ballot measure to fund a $198 million building program that added four new elementary schools and a high school, while Dorchester 2’s $179.9 million campaign to add three elementary schools and a magnet middle school of the arts passed by a 60-40 margin.
The measures added $102 on a $150,000 owner-occupied house in Dorchester County for 20 years. In Berkeley, homeowners paid $60 more on a $150,000 house the first three years, and are now paying $120 annually until 2023, when it goes back to $60 for another decade.
“The referendum was definitely a success,” Duke said. “If we didn’t have these new schools, I don’t know what we would have done.”
End of Yes 4 Schools
Both Berkeley and Dorchester 2 will see the end of their building campaigns this year. In August, Berkeley plans to open Bowens Corner and Foxbank elementary schools, and Dorchester 2 students will move into the new Rollings Middle School of the Arts.
The extra seats have helped some but not enough, officials said.
“We need more schools, that’s all there is to it,” said Duke.
In the 5½ years since the referendums were approved, Berkeley has grown by about 5,000 students to 35,192 this year. Dorchester has gone from 23,245 to 26,240.
“We’ve completed that building program, and the growth is still coming,” Jackson said. “We’ve made our adjustments; however, it’s still not sufficient. When you have a 900-student school opening up at 750 students, it doesn’t leave you much room, not the way that Berkeley County is growing.”
The county is outpacing even the aggressive predictions of a 2015 study by Clemson’s Strom Thurmond Institute that forecast the student population could skyrocket to 55,000 by 2035. That study called for 20 new schools in 20 years.
But aware that taxpayers are still putting money into the 2012 program, officials are doing everything they can to maximize space.
“We are not so certain that a referendum is the only solution,” Jackson said. “We’re working with the county government and working with our Legislature to figure out what’s the best way for Berkeley County to deal with the situation we have.”
The trailers the districts removed from schools a few years ago are now being added back. At DuBose, for instance, six additional units will be added to the 18 already there for next school year.
Dorchester is not yet talking about redrawing attendance lines — always a hot topic — but Berkeley is.
“Where do you move them? To a less overcrowded school?” said District 2 spokeswoman Pat Raynor.
Officials at both districts said they have a commitment not to increase class size, which can be a detriment to learning for students and a stress for teachers.
“Talk to just about any teacher, and they would rather have lower class sizes,” Duke said. “That’s probably more important to most of them than pay, really.”
Berkeley is looking at some unconventional ways to increase capacity, such as using a “college model” of office space or shared spaces in jam-packed high schools instead of assigning teachers to classrooms. That allows each class to be used every class period, in theory increasing capacity by 25 percent.
“We’re trying to use every resource that we have to the fullest before doing something that’s going to cause us to borrow more money,” Jackson said.
Although they aren’t ruling out future referendums, both are aware that they may not get taxpayer support.
“We’re taking a collaborative approach because we are coming out of a building program that drew a lot of attention,” Jackson said. “We are definitely cognizant of that.”
Opposition to Berkeley’s referendum led to a State Law Enforcement Division investigation and guilty pleas on ethics charges from former Superintendent Rodney Thompson and Communcations Director Amy Kovach.
In addition, in the aftermath of the investigation, authorities uncovered a scheme by former Chief Financial Officer Brantley Thomas to embezzle nearly $1 million from the district and shuffle money between accounts to cover up construction cost overruns of about $7.2 million.
Dorchester 2 was also sued over its referendum. In March 2017, Summerville lawyer Mike Rose filed a lawsuit claiming that the district broke state law and its own rules during the building campaign, leading to cost overruns, delays in opening new schools and shoddy work. That lawsuit is ongoing.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 843-937-5713. Follow her on Twitter @brindge.
CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 27, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Charleston Oral and Facial Surgery (COAFS) was voted a 2019 Reader’s Choice recipient by the readers of “Journal Scene.” Named Best Oral Surgeons in the annual Best of Summerville competition, COAFS will be featured in the 2019 Reader’s Choice special edition. Winners in all categories were announced at a party held at The Village of Summerville on February 25, 2020.PHOTO CAPTION: The physicians of Charleston Oral and Facial Surgery were recently...
CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 27, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Charleston Oral and Facial Surgery (COAFS) was voted a 2019 Reader’s Choice recipient by the readers of “Journal Scene.” Named Best Oral Surgeons in the annual Best of Summerville competition, COAFS will be featured in the 2019 Reader’s Choice special edition. Winners in all categories were announced at a party held at The Village of Summerville on February 25, 2020.
PHOTO CAPTION: The physicians of Charleston Oral and Facial Surgery were recently named Best Oral Surgeons by the readers of Journal Scene.
In addition to accolades from Summerville, COAFS was recently named 2020 Best Oral Surgery Practice by Mount Pleasant Magazine. Nearly 50,000 votes were cast by magazine readers.
Led by a team of highly trained, board-certified oral surgeons — Dr. Edward R. Strauss, DMD, MD; Dr. Aaron P. Sarathy, DMD; Dr. A Drane Oliphant, DMD, MD; Dr. Graham Lee, DMD; and Dr. Scott H. Godwin, DMD — Charleston Oral and Facial Surgery has six convenient locations in the Lowcountry area, including Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, Bluffton and Knightsville.
Some of the practice’s specialties include: total smile transformation, full-arch dental implants, implant-supported dentures, wisdom teeth extraction, same-day dental implants and corrective jaw surgery, to name just a few. Using advanced surgical techniques and state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology, COAFS maintains a patient-centric philosophy to ensure that every client, regardless of the treatment, receives the ultimate patient experience.
“At COAFS, our surgeons are constantly striving to provide the highest quality care to our patients,” said Dr. Aaron P. Sarathy, DMD. “We strive to give back to the community and to know our patients are recognizing this is a true honor for our doctors and team.”
To learn more about COAFS, visit https://www.charlestonoralandfacialsurgery.com/.
For media inquiries, contact Stacey Kole with Branded Pros at 480.221.5818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COAFS has six locations in the Lowcountry, S.C. area, where its highly trained, board-certified surgeons provide patients with state-of-the-art treatment. With a commitment to cutting-edge technology and ongoing education, Charleston Oral and Facial Surgery offers the most advanced surgical techniques coupled with compassionate to produce the ultimate patient experience — every single time.
More information: https://www.charlestonoralandfacialsurgery.com/
News Source: Charleston Oral and Facial Surgery