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New C.E. Williams Middle School opens for 2020-2021 school year

CE Williams Middle School Opening Tour 2020
CE Williams Middle School Opening Tour 2020

Watch a sneak peek of the new C.E. Williams Middle School!

Charleston County School District (CCSD) is proud to announce that the newly-constructed C.E. Williams Middle School (CEW) will open its doors to students for the 2020-2021 school year. 

The project was funded by a “Yes” vote of the Charleston Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax Referendum of 2014. 

The new state-of-the-art building is a two-story, 137,227 square foot facility designed to serve 900 students, and can be expanded to accommodate a total of 1,200 students. It is located next to the West Ashley High School, at 3090 Sanders Road. Seventh and 8th grade students will be attending the school this year.

“We have relocated the C.E. Williams Middle School-South campus next to West Ashley High School and the future West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies,” said Robert Sturman CCSD’s Interim Director of Capital Programs. “The Bees Ferry West Ashley Library is being built in the same area, helping create an educational hub for Charleston County students in District 10. Our design firm, construction team, and program manager did an amazing job building the new campus. Faculty and visitors will have adequate parking on 

the campus and the students will enjoy a larger facility with an increase in natural lighting, play space, and an array of colorful accents for a most enjoyable learning experience.” 

The building includes large classrooms for band, orchestra, and strings. Career Technology Education is highlighted in the multiple technology centered classrooms, and computer labs. Project labs and other meeting and learning spaces were also included throughout the facility.

“The new C.E. Williams-South Campus facility is one of which the West Ashley community and CCSD can be proud,” said Principal Kevin Smith. “From design to function, students and staff members will have the facilities to set the stage for access and opportunity for all students. In addition, it echoes the beauty of Charleston with ponds, palm trees, and vegetation that are visible through the many windows that provide ample amounts of natural light. As soon as you walk in the front door you are greeted with a two-story lobby with a beautiful ‘CEW’ in the floor. The new CEW campus is a testament to our mantra, ‘Students are the heart of our work’." 

The construction team worked in tandem with local and state agencies to open the school on time and within the approved budget of $53.3 million.

“COVID-19 has forced the teams building our new schools to overcome some unique challenges,” said Sturman. “It has been a race to get all of the new school buildings online before the students return for the new school year, which was strategically managed by Cumming (the District’s construction management firm). The internal and external partnerships between the design team, general contractors, subcontractors, CCSD staff, and others were the keys to a successful project.”

In addition to the construction management team, Cumming, the architect was LS3P, and the general contractor was Contract Construction. The Project Manager was Bobby Bryant and the Site Manager was Chuck Lather.

C.E. Williams was established in 1968 and named after Chalmers Elliott Williams who served as the Superintendent of St. Andrew’s Parish School District 10 from 1943 to 1975. Principal Smith, a native of Charleston, attended the middle school when he was growing up.

For more information, contact the Office of Strategy and Communications at (843) 937-6303.