New Library Costs 

The Charleston County Library Board presented cost estimates for four locations.

Here is a copy.

The lowest cost alternative is in the BI-LO shopping center near Folly Rd.   While the cost of all the vacant space there is $5,250,000, the library board wants to purchase 20,000 square feet for a total cost of $2,650,000.    The needed renovations are estimated to cost $6,650,000 for a total cost of $9.3 million.

It is on the Folly Road Corridor in the Town's "Commercial Core."   It is in an area annexed by the City of Charleston.   While the sidewalk access is currently poor, by the time it is built that should greatly improve.   

The library board's first choice is for the Dills Bluff Property.   This is near the corner of Camp and Dills Bluff, right behind the current location of Town Hall.  The cost of new construction for a 20,000 square foot building is estimated at $10,820,000 for any site.

The library board wants 4 acres.  The JIPSD Commissioners said that they didn't want to subdivide and that they wanted to sell it all.   The County is willing to buy all 6.2 acres for the appraised value of $550,000.   I think they plan on selling the part they don't need to someone else.  (The Town would be a willing buyer.)   So, this would end up costing them about $370,000 for land.  The total would be $11,190,000.  

It is almost exactly in the center of James Island and very close to the current site of the James Island branch.  While the sidewalk access is currently poor, by the time it is built, that should greatly improve.

However, there is a major question.  Is there a majority of JIPSD Commissioners willing to sell?    Saying they will sell for $5 million could easily be just another way of saying that they don't want to sell at all.

The Baxter Patrick location on Grimball Rd would be "free" except the Charleston County School Board will want some accommodations estimated to cost $200,000.  (I have heard it is tennis courts at James Island Elementary, but I am not sure.) Adding the $10,820,000 estimated cost of new construction, that results in $11,020,000.

It is located in a residental, semi-rural area of unincorporated Charleston County.   There is currently sidewalk access, though for most James Islanders it would be a very long walk.

This site was ranked last by the Library board, but Charleston County's finance committee voted 5-2 in favor of this option.   

There is a fourth site on Fort Johnson Rd.   It is near Oceanview Drive.   The land is 7 acres for $525,000.   The owners want to sell it.    Perhaps the County could find a partner to pay for the 3 acres they do not want.   If they can find one, the total cost would be comparable to the Dills Bluff property.    It was ranked third by the Library board.

The Fort Johnson site is close to the location existing branch and near the Dills Bluff alternative.   There is sidewalk access now and by the time it is built, there will be connectivity with a large portion of the Island. 

What do you think?


Posted by Bill Saturday, June 6, 2015 2:34:00 PM

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) 

Design for New Town Hall Facility

The Town of James  Island is accepting RFQ's for the design of our new Town Hall facility. Please click here for more information and remember to view the calendar for important dates.

Posted by Frances Friday, June 5, 2015 10:15:00 AM

Gullah Braai on June 13 4 to 6 

at Seashore Farmers Lodge Museum on Sol Legare

Posted by Bill Wednesday, June 3, 2015 6:37:00 AM

Hurricane Prepared Week, May 24 -30 


            Once again we have reached the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Old hands know this is the time of year to check your emergency supplies, check your “GO Kit” and update your evacuation plans.  Natives to the Lowcountry also know that this is not something to be ignored or put off until the storm warnings start making the evening news.  Tropical cyclones, also known as tropical storms and hurricanes are serious weather events that cause severe damage to property, geography and personal injury and death.  New comers to our area especially need to get prepared in case a storm impacts South Carolina.

            South Carolina and Charleston County have stopped issuing voluntary evacuation notices.  If an evacuation is deemed necessary, it will be mandatoryNO EXCEPTIONS!  If you, a neighbor or family member needs special assistance to evacuate, please plan to leave before the official notification is given so you have time to get out.  Charleston County has been divided into evacuation zones.  James Island is in Zone A.

            There are a few simple steps to take to get prepared.  Have a Plan.  Discuss with your family what you are going to do, when you will be doing it and where you will be going.  Make a Kit.  Make a “GO Kit” (Get Out Kit) that has what you will need to survive for at least 72 hours.  Include water, food, medications, first aid kit and a change of clothes as a minimum.  Stay informed.  Check the weather reports, especially the tropical forecasts, regularly.  Also, be aware of road closures, construction delays and other activity that could impact your evacuation route.  Get Involved.  Find out how to be prepared by looking up information on-line or attending a preparedness workshop.  Take classes in First Aid and CPR.  Join the local CERT Team or other volunteer organization that helps out in emergencies.

            Residents of James Island are invited to contact The Town of James Island for more information on how they can get prepared, make a kit or get involved.  Some on-line resources that are available are:








Posted by Frances Thursday, May 28, 2015 3:06:00 PM

McCoy files Annexation Legislation 

Representative Peter McCoy filed new annexation legislation last week in Columbia.   He explained, “This bill modifies legal contiguity in a way that will allow people who were left out of the Town in 2012 to be included.”   House Bill 4203 applies when a municipality is entirely located within a special purpose district that has an elected governing body.   If the bill passes, then any property that would be contiguous to the municipality but for a break in the contiguity of the special purpose district would be legally contiguous with the municipality.    Existing annexation law could then be applied.   Mayor Bill Woolsey stated, “All James Islanders owe Representative McCoy thanks for his work on this issue.   Once this bill is signed into law, we can start putting together a petition drive and annexation election.  The Town can be reunited.”   Representative McCoy believes that the bill has a good chance in the House this year and hopes that the South Carolina Senate will consider it early next year.

Posted by Bill Saturday, May 23, 2015 10:00:00 AM
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