City leaders to create 'Seahawk District' for Myrtle Beach schools to look similar to college campus

City leaders to create 'Seahawk District' for Myrtle Beach schools to look similar to college campus

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As your kids go to elementary, middle and high school, your hope may be to ultimately have them college bound. So, why not give them the look of a college campus while they're going through the process?

That's a proposal the city planning commission is trying to make to give schools that are near each other their own identities.

So, now imagine the look of a college campus for Myrtle Beach primary, elementary, intermediate, middle and high schools.

The Myrtle Beach City Planning Commission wants to turn the area between 29th Avenue North and 38th Avenue North into a huge campus and name it "Seahawk District" to recognize the significance of the Seahawks community.

When you drive into Coastal Carolina University, the school has pillars and monuments to show that you are actually driving onto a campus no matter from which direction you come.

Because several Myrtle Beach schools are within walking distance of each other and use the Seahawk as their mascot, the city wants to create a campus-like theme to give the schools their own identities.

City leaders want to decorate crosswalks to make them more noticeable. Signage is also a big thing. The planning commission wants more modern technology. They also want to add arches that go over roads that say, "Welcome to Seahawk District."

If everything goes as planned, there will be uniform-style street lights and posts, murals on buildings that tie in with the Seahawk theme and areas for recognition of current and past school achievements.

Also, there will be a campus-wide park and playground area. Along with that, there are plans for emergency call boxes near Pepper Geddings Center and Doug Shaw Stadium.

Students walk consistently, so having walking and cycling areas that connect to the schools are a necessity.

"Because sometimes kids go to Pepper Geddings, or from school to other activates here we want to make sure there's a safe pedestrian route throughout the campus and that's something the city has talked about and the school district has expressed interest in and especially the parents," said Myrtle Beach Planning Director Carol Coleman.

The planning commission took this idea to administrators and teachers and almost everyone was on board. But some think the digital signs will be too bright for the nearby neighborhoods.

It may sound like a great idea, but the cost, installation, and maintenance of any infrastructure and signage could hold this project back.

"There's no funding set aside for it. The city has not committed to spending money over there. But, the opportunity is there, and once again CAB rules, the community appearance board will weigh on whether or not they think it's appropriate. So, I think anything they come up with will have to be tastefully done. I think it's going to have to be consistent to what's there," Coleman said.

The planning commission just recently drafted the first ordinance to create the Seahawk District. So, there could be changes before it goes to city council to get passed.

But this idea stretches far beyond the campus. The city also wants to create districts for Broadway, Downtown Myrtle Beach and the Grand Dunes so people can find their way around easier.

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