Myrtle Beach joins CCU to establish downtown charter school, graduate program

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The city of Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina University entered an agreement on Tuesday to establish a charter school and academic building for CCU’s Graduate School of Education downtown.

The agreement plans include turning the First Presbyterian Church in Myrtle Beach, which is currently empty, into a kindergarten through 8th grade charter school, and turning Chapin Library into an academic building for CCU’s education graduate students.

President of CCU, Dr. David DeCenzo told city council he is excited about the partnership. He says the plan will not only help expand CCU’s campus, but it could ultimately attract more teachers to the state.

“The world of higher ed is changing, and we have to do things differently today than we’ve ever done them in the past, and going out into a city like this to help with the revitalization, I think is something critically important for us as a university,” Dr. DeCenzo said.

Myrtle Beach city leaders agree the plan will bring life back into downtown. However, some had concerns about how it could impact the historic Chapin Library.

“As far as the current library, our staff, the facility, I don’t want to displace them, you know, I don’t want them to get lost,” Jackie Hatley, Myrtle Beach Mayor Pro Term said during the meeting.

According to city manager John Pedersen, the city plans to move Chapin Library near the Train Depot. He says the library would have to close temporarily if the renovations overlap, but the city will try its best to avoid that.

“Personally, I think that’s a relatively small price to pay given that the effect of this is to really accelerate the library moving forward. We will move it up in the schedule because council certainly is not interested in having- if we have to move into a temporary location, they don’t want to do that any longer than it’s absolutely necessary,” Pedersen said.

The agreement passed during Tuesday’s city council meeting. Pedersen says the city’s architects have already begun studying the buildings and will begin the more detailed design process soon.

Count on News13 for updates.

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