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Waccamaw Elementary: Development seeks access across school property

By Charles Swenson

The developer of 86 single-family homes behind Waccamaw Elementary School says the project will help ease traffic congestion at the school. But the school district first has to turn over a street that runs alongside the school to Georgetown County to allow access to the development.

It isn’t the first time the school district has heard the pitch. Development on the 38-acre tract was approved by Georgetown County in 2008 under a plan that called for the school district to trade access to Waverly Road over the elementary school property for three acres next to the school. The tract went into foreclosure before the swap was made.

The current owner, GT Homes, wants to use the 3 acres for lots, according to Boyd Johnson, the county planning director. The revised plan under review also changes the access to Waverly Road from an extension of Cochran Drive on the west side of the school property to Dupre Drive on the east side. The development will also have a connection to Petigru Drive, but a connection to Martin Luther King Road in the original design has been eliminated, Johnson said. Because of the changes, the project will have to go back to the Planning Commission for approval.

Hal Moon, the project designer for G3 Engineering, asked the school board this week if it would deed the road to the county. “It would provide another way of ingress and egress to get to Petigru Drive,” he said. “I don’t want to quite call it a cut through road, but it would be another improvement in that area.”

“We’ve heard this several times,” Superintendent Randy Dozier said. He recommended the district get a traffic study for the project.

And he wasn’t sure the county was eager to take over the expense of maintaining the road.

“I’m a little concerned about traffic through that area,” Board Member Richard Kerr said. Dupre Drive is used by parents and staff and to access ballfields behind the school.

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