How else to explain their treatment of the land upon which the Buist school sits? What if, indeed as is possible, that land reveals artifacts of early settlements of African-Americans, even of slaves?
We'll never know what history has been lost. The Charleston County School District has shown its disdain for the past from the beginning of its campaign to replace the old school building.
Nevertheless, we can ask questions. Alert observers of CCSD have plenty of them.
- Work on reopening Buist in August of 2013 remains on track, in fact, at "full speed, damn the torpedoes" speed while the promised replacement of Memminger, James Simons, and Courtenay has ground to "dead slow," aiming at 2014 or later.
- In the dead of night, residents near Buist have been awakened by noise of construction on the site. Working at night because?
- Perhaps the removal of truckloads of excavated soil given to a member of the public and not examined for artifacts is easier then. For all we know, graves are being removed--they would just slow down the work.
- Rumors abound of the pocketing of coins and even slave tags by workers involved with the pile and foundation work. No one thought there might be below-ground historical assets?
- On the same topic, the area was part of the city's defense lines during the American Revolution's siege of Charleston before its surrender in May of 1780. Just sayin.'
- If CCSD could order a seismic survey, why did it not order an archeological survey and recovery plan to be included in its original time line?
- Did anyone consider using the valuable expertise of staff at the Charleston Museum? Why will CCSD not release its Board-ordered archeological surveys done before the work was started? Were Final Reports even made?
Back in the 1950s the Charleston Historical Society banded together to save architectural gems in danger of destruction. Without its efforts, the old city of Charleston would be half the gem it is today.
There could easily be as much history below ground as what we see above, but the administrative structure of the Charleston County School District echoes Rhett Butler: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."