A state-level panel has approved the nomination of Port Royal Elementary School for placement on the National Register of Historic Places, the Beaufort County School District announced today in a news release. The unanimous vote by the 15-member S.C. Board of Review for the National Register of Historic Places sends Port Royal’s nomination to the U.S. National Park Service for a final decision. The state review board comprises architects, historians, archaeologists and public officials from across the state, according to the district release. While the exact opening date of Port Royal Elementary is not known, the handwritten deed that transferred the property from the town to the school district is dated September 1910. The building’s cornerstone indicates that it was constructed in 1911, and the school celebrated its 100th birthday in 2011. The original building held six classes in three classrooms, as well as a library with three bookshelves.
The national nomination effort is being coordinated by the town of Port Royal, the Historic Port Royal Foundation and the Beaufort County Board of Education. The delegation that attended the state review board meeting included town manager Van Willis, town Councilmen Joe Lee and Tom Klein, Board of Education Chairman Bill Evans and school assistant principal Clay Fowler. Port Royal Councilman Lee said the state review board’s vote was a big step in the process toward national recognition. “We’re excited to have made it to this point,” Lee said in the news release. “The facility is so deserving, and being able to keep this process moving to the national level is a proud moment for the Port Royal community.” Check back later at BeaufortGazette.com for more information.