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Charleston County School District

Mount Pleasant, SC

Mount Pleasant Academy.tif

The oldest school in South Carolina, Mount Pleasant Academy opened its doors over 200 years ago. Being that Mount Pleasant is one of the fastest growing city in the United States, Charleston County School District recognized the need for a larger elementary school.

Completed in 2009 in coordination with Craig Gaulden Davis Architects, the new 70,000-square-foot school replaced the existing structure and allows all 615 students (grades K4-5) to be under one roof. Due to site constraints, the building is organized in a linear fashion, with a Welcome (Administration) Center at the street followed by classrooms, media center, and dining room facing the marsh and includes 26 teaching stations and additional science, computer, and special educational spaces. The exterior architectural expression is one of simple brick forms with generous glazed openings to provide sunlight to all learning spaces and blends seamlessly into Mount Pleasant’s historic Old Village neighborhood.

The site presented tight constraints paired with a significant (by Lowcountry standards) elevation change. Using the building's linear design layout, the design team was able to organize the car drop-off loop along the side of the school to achieve the length required by OSF/DOT. The school is set back from the street, allowing space for the bus loop's circular entry drive.

The entire campus upholds the school’s strong academic and student-centered focus. Thanks to community involvement, we were able to create a space that is cherished and revered by not only teachers, staff, parents, and students but also by the neighborhood as a whole.

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