If you own a business, you should already know that at some point, you will need to hire an electrician in Mount Pleasant to fix electrical issues and maintain your property's wiring systems. Unfortunately, many people forego certified, experienced electricians to save money. The reality is, trying to fix an electrical issue in your business is no small task and often costs more money than hiring a professional. Working with electricity can be dangerous to your property and, more importantly, your health.
It might seem like a good idea to try a DIY approach or call your "do it all" local handyman, but going pro will save you time and money when it comes to serious projects like thermal imaging and three-phase panel installations. Think about it: why spend money buying expensive supplies and countless hours watching electrical repair videos when there's a good chance you'll need professional help in the end? Many DIY electricians have good intentions but often end up damaging electrical systems worse than before.
At Engineered Electrical Solutions, we get the job done right the first time, so you can focus on enjoying running your business while we fix your electrical problem. We bring the same level of quality and reliability to every job we perform, whether it's a routine safety inspection or an entire commercial rewiring project. Unlike some electricians in South Carolina, we go above and beyond to ensure our customers are safe and satisfied with our work. We pride ourselves on keeping customers informed throughout their electrical job and follow up on our projects to make sure our fixes stick.
At the end of the day, excellent customer care is what we strive to achieve. We do so by providing the highest quality commercial services at affordable prices, all year long. Here are just a few reasons why Lowcountry residents trust Engineered Electrical Solutions:
If you're looking for the very best electrician in South Carolina, put down the pen and paper and look no further than Engineered Electrical Solutions. Keep reading to learn more about some of our most popular services.
Having a reliable electrician on hand that you can trust with electrical repairs is of utmost importance when you own a business in South Carolina. For years, Engineered Electrical Solutions has provided business owners with the most effective electrical repair and installation services in the Lowcountry. Our team is adept at assisting businesses of all sizes, from small "mom and pop" shops to industrial plants and everything in between.
We offer a wide range of electrical services, from electrical panel installation and business rewiring to transformer installation and thermal imaging. Modern businesses count on energy-efficient electricity to help run their day-to-day operations. If you need your electrical systems to run smoothly so you can stay focused on building your business, count on Engineered Electrical Solutions to be there when you need us the most.
A few of our most popular commercial and industrial electrical services include but are not limited to:
As a business owner, you know first-hand that closing your doors costs money, time, and possibly your clients. That's why, when you have an electrical issue that must be remedied, you need quick, cost-efficient help so you can keep running your business. But trusting the job of a trained electrician in the hands of an amateur can be a big mistake.
Sure, your uncle may know how to flip a few switches on the breaker in your home, but serving a commercial business is an entirely different animal. In fact, trusting your company's electrical needs to just anyone can end up costing you more in the long run. Here are just a few of the most important reasons to consider hiring an experienced commercial electrical contractor.
Did you know there is a litany of regulations and codes you must follow when servicing electrical components in a commercial setting? From remodels to maintenance, a knowledgeable electrician will know these codes in and out. If they don't, they've got the reference material and support to ensure their work is up to standard. Taking the time to hire a commercial electrical company with vetted technicians means you don't have to worry about legal fines and reprimands for not adhering to regulations associated with common services like commercial lighting installations and upgrades.
In general, a commercial electrical contractor in Mount Pleasant, SC, must undergo extensive training and pass more tests in order to practice their trade in South Carolina. Like their counterparts in the residential electrical business, they must both pass exams and complete apprenticeships. But commercial electricians have more in-depth training. They must also prove their knowledge of the National Electrical Code, or NEC, which encompasses safety procedures and building codes in the U.S. The advanced training that commercial electricians complete sets the foundation for services such as:
When you break it down to the basics, commercial electricians in the Lowcountry require more experience because of factors like safety, complexity, and reliability. It's not unusual for a contractor to complete over 4,000 hours of on-the-job experience, to learn about complicated topics like voltage and phase balancing, control systems, and phase diagrams.
If you're like most people, you hire professionals like corporate lawyers, helicopter pilots, and commercial electricians to handle the things you don't have the skills to do yourself. Because, if we're being honest, many services provided by commercial electrical contractors are dangerous and even downright deadly. While you can find "How-To" articles that insist that this type of work is simple, taking on an electrical project for your business can have catastrophic consequences - both for your business and for the family you're supporting.
Hiring a commercial electrician for your business safeguards you, your employees, and your business. That's because they're trained to spot commercial electrical hazards and have the tools to fix the problem correctly and according to South Carolina regulations.
Some business owners make it a point to hire non-professionals to handle their electrical work, thinking they'll save money in the long run. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Cutting corners and hiring unlicensed friends or family members creates hazards that will set your company back much more than it would to hire a qualified commercial electrician. Mistakes are costly and often end up with you having to close your business while they're corrected. This downtime will affect your ability to do business and may even affect your brand loyalty and customer base.
Energy mismanagement - it's one of the most common ways that businesses lose unnecessary money every year. Though every business in South Carolina will eventually face some sort of energy waste, that doesn't mean you have to settle for expenses you can prevent. At Engineered Electrical Solutions, we're all about supporting our fellow business owners. To help you reduce electrical costs, follow these five tips.
In terms of low-cost solutions, this one is among the best. If you've been using incandescent bulbs throughout your business, try installing compact fluorescents instead. They can last 9x longer and save you money over time. While you're at it, remove any incandescent lights powering exit signs in your building. Replace them with LED alternatives.
Did you grow up in a household where your mom or dad constantly reminded you to turn off the lights when you're done in a room? That same basic principle holds true here. If lights are left on unnecessarily, be sure they're turned off before closing for the day. If you find that doesn't help, you may need to develop a shift-based system to turn off lights. Our team of commercial electricians for your business in cityname, state, have the expertise to help you establish a system to lower energy waste without affecting your company's productivity.
According to the Small Business Administration, HVAC use accounts for nearly 40% of energy use in commercial buildings. It's clear, then, that poor-performing HVAC systems can rack up monthly energy costs quickly. To prevent this from getting out of control, make sure your AC and heating units are well-maintained and free of expensive issues. You may want to also consider installing programmable thermostats, which can automatically control the temperature settings on your property to help maximize your energy savings.
The EPA states that keeping your commercial building properly insulated can save you as much as 10% on your energy bill. Don't settle for obvious areas like walls and windows. Be sure your electrical outlets, pipes, and HVAC ducts are properly insulated too.
At Engineered Electrical Solutions, we can provide you with an energy audit for your business that pinpoints areas of energy waste and how those areas can be improved. Having an electrical assessment is a great idea for any business owner, especially if you have a storefront where customers come and go because it can help lower your overall operational costs.
Commercial and industrial-sized buildings are large and complex by the nature of their construction. By proxy, commercial buildings have complicated wiring and electrical systems. Electrical work in the commercial market is best left to experienced, licensed professionals. If you're looking for the very best commercial electricians in Metro Mount Pleasant, Engineered Electrical Solutions is here to serve you.
We have completed hundreds of commercial electrician projects for companies like Blue Oyster Restaurant, Shell Gas Stations, Flex Warehouses, Dentist Offices, and many more. With the most up-to-date equipment and years of professional experience, our team is ready to tackle your electrical problem, no matter how large.
Here are just a few of the common electrical issues that we solve for Lowcountry business owners:
Your businesses' electrical system will trip when it has too much electricity running through it. These problems are very common in commercial properties and usually stem from one of three culprits: circuit overloads, short circuits, and ground fault surges. Obviously, when your circuits are tripped regularly, your business operations suffer. To help solve your circuit breaker problems, our commercial electricians will come to your location for in-depth troubleshooting. Once we discover the root cause, we'll get to work on repairing your circuit breaker, so you can continue working and serving your customers.
Like tripped circuit breakers, dimming or flickering lights are among the most common commercial electrical problems in South Carolina. These issues typically stem from poor electrical connections. These poor connections will usually cause sparks, which can start fires and wreak havoc on your commercial building. While dimming lights might seem minor, if you leave this problem to fester, you could be looking at permanent damage to your businesses' electrical systems. Given the danger involved in fixing this problem, it's important that you work with a licensed business electrician like Engineered Electrical Solutions as soon as you're able to.
Dead power outlets aren't always dangerous, unlike other recurring commercial electrical issues. They are, however, disruptive to your company's productivity. Dead outlets are common in older commercial buildings and are often caused by circuit overloads. Connecting multiple high-wattage devices and appliances to the same power socket can cause overheating. When the power outlet overheats, it can lead to tripped circuit breakers. In some cases, the live wire catches fire and burns until it is disconnected. For a reliable solution using high-quality switches, sockets, and circuit breakers, it's best to hire a professional business electrician to get the job done right.
Finding a real-deal, qualified commercial electrician in South Carolina is harder than you might think. Whether it's due to availability or budget, you might be tempted to hire a residential electrician for your commercial electrical problem. While it's true that great residential electricians can help solve commercial issues in theory, it's always best to hire a business electrician with professional experience.
Unlike their residential colleagues, commercial electricians are licensed to deal with different materials and procedures suited specifically for businesses. Commercial wiring is much more complex than other wiring and is strategically installed with maintenance, repair, and changes in mind. Additionally, commercial properties usually use a three-phase power supply, necessitating more schooling, skills, and technical ability to service.
The bottom line? If you're a business owner with commercial electricity problems, it's best to work with a licensed commercial electrician, like you will find at Engineered Electrical Solutions.
Engineered Electrical Solutions has built its reputation on a simple formula: give our customers the highest-quality commercial electrical services, the most helpful customer service, and the best prices available in town.
As a veteran-owned and operated business, we take pride in good old-fashioned hard work and dedication to our craft. No upselling. No misleading fine print. Only quality electrical work and reliable commercial electricians in Mount Pleasant, SC.
We want to be sure every one of our customers is satisfied, which is why we offer a three-year guaranteed on our labor. If you're in need of a commercial electrician for your business or organization, give our office a call and discover the Engineered Electrical Solutions difference.843-735-2275
You’re seeing The Post and Courier’s weekly real estate newsletter. Receive all the latest transactions and top development, building, and home and commercial sales news to your inbox each Saturday here.A fondue ...
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A fondue restaurant chain plans to expand into the Lowcountry.
Bob Johnston, CEO of The Melting Pot, said the Tampa, Fla.-based company is looking to add two locations in Charleston and Mount Pleasant. He cited the Palmetto State’s strong tourism industry as a key reason for the expansion plan.
MONCKS CORNER — Cherry Collins probably knew her career path as a toddler.
She had devoured so many books by the time she reached kindergarten age, she was already at a fourth-grade reading level.
After a few odd jobs when she finished high school, Collins invested $4,000 to start a used bookstore called Dreamalot in Goose Creek. It eventually migrated to Moncks Corner.
Over the next few weeks, the business she has operated in three locations for the past 24 years will write its last chapter.
Dreamalot at 1013 Old Highway 52 is going out of business. The last day originally was set for the end of September, but the lease has been extended through October, according to Phil Rowe, a longtime friend from Connecticut who is helping her close the shop.
“It’s breaking my heart,” said Collins, as tears welled up in her eyes while waiting on customers in the 3,050-square-foot shop near a Big Lots discount store. “But I can no longer afford it.”
Her inventory of more than 100,000 books, along with games, puzzles, trinkets, pictures and some clothing, is all marked down 50-90 percent. Shelves and displays also must go. Items in a lending library in the back of the store are free.
Collins, who uses a wheelchair due to ailments, noted she tried to find a business partner to keep the business going.
“I wasn’t able to do that, and I can no longer do it by myself,” the 51-year-old said.
Dreamalot started on Aug. 1, 1999, in a small shop on Highway 52 in Goose Creek, where it operated for 18 years before moving up the street for a short stint. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the business moved to the edge of Moncks Corner.
“This has been an excellent location,” she said. “My business doubled overnight after I moved here.”
Collins not only sells pre-owned books. She also donates supplies to jailhouses in Berkeley and Charleston counties and charter schools in the Lowcountry. She also tries to help the homeless as much as she can.
“I’m sad that I won’t be able to do it any longer,” she said.
Customers browsing the stacks Sept. 12 lamented the shop’s imminent demise.
“This has always been my place to come when I’m feeling sad,” longtime patron and retiree Penny Maguire said. “This is my happy place. You can come here and look and browse and find all kinds of things you didn’t know you were looking for.”
Dr. Morgan Glass glanced through the shelves for some fiction titles.
“It’s kind of sad that it’s closing,” the pediatrician said. “I bring my boys — 6 and 10 — here all the time. I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I will probably get back to the library more.”
Cane Bay resident Brandon Lorick is part of a group that tries to read at least one book each month, but he aims for two.
He used to shop at Mr. K’s Used Books in North Charleston before it closed last spring. He called the closing of shops such as Dreamalot “a shame.”
“You can get deals online, but you don’t get that personal experience when you go through the checkout line and they talk about the books you selected,” Lorick said.
Rowe, Collins’ friend from Connecticut, called the clearance sale a huge undertaking.
“We have a lot of everything, and we have two storage units filled with books as well,” he said. “Everything has to go.”
He urged shoppers to bring boxes and bags and noted items will be sold in bulk at reduced prices near the end of the sale to help clear out remaining merchandise.
The shop is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
MOUNT PLEASANT — Downtown Charleston’s Revealed Gallery has teamed up with Mount Pleasant’s White Gallery for an upcoming rock ‘n’ roll exhibit.Scott Parsons, owner of Revealed Gallery, is one of the two artists being featured in the show, which will include portraits of famed classic rockers across a variety of media. The second participant is one of Parsons’ featured artists and friend Mauricio Sánchez Rengifo, who goes by Masáre.Both will showcase their large-scale works at W...
MOUNT PLEASANT — Downtown Charleston’s Revealed Gallery has teamed up with Mount Pleasant’s White Gallery for an upcoming rock ‘n’ roll exhibit.
Scott Parsons, owner of Revealed Gallery, is one of the two artists being featured in the show, which will include portraits of famed classic rockers across a variety of media. The second participant is one of Parsons’ featured artists and friend Mauricio Sánchez Rengifo, who goes by Masáre.
Both will showcase their large-scale works at White Gallery, 709 Coleman Blvd., for the “TripLineDrop” art show from 7-10 p.m. Aug. 25. There will be food and drink vendors, as well as music by Paul Harris, Graham Whorley and DJ Moldybrain, on-site during the show.
Parsons grew up with a brother eight years older than him who loved comic books. He experienced art from an early age and started to attempt drawing his favorite characters at age 7. In middle school, he gravitated toward graffiti and was hired for his first mural in Washington, D.C., in 1997. He moved to Charleston in 2000 and started doing murals again after a hiatus. In 2010, he transferred from spray can to brush and canvas. He also experiments with acrylic pouring.
“My subject matter isn’t easily defined,” said Parsons. “I paint images that strike me when doing figurative work. ... The pouring paintings I do are experimenting with color and are very organic. I direct the paint to a certain extent, but then it’s kind of out of my control, which is very fun for me and I hope for the viewer as well.”
Parsons said he will be bringing a “whole lot of color” to this show, as well as new pour experimentations. This is the first time he has shown at White Gallery.
Masáre studied and graduated as an architect in Colombia in 2005. He spent six months locked in his studio painting some of the works that will be on display at this exhibit, including portraits of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.
His portraits are created from layered textures on rigid surfaces; he uses glass, fabric, wood, beads, plastic, metal, glitter, paper, petals and more. The materials used often coalesce with the story of his subject matter.
“Any material and medium the concept of who I am painting, life and work, dictates me to use,” he said. “For instance, in the Kurt Cobain paintings, there was a shotgun. Frida Kahlo, nails; Jim Morrison, fire and soot; Amy Winehouse, wine bottles and plastic roses.”
Masáre said he loves optical illusions and rock music. So this themed show was the perfect opportunity for him.
Among featured pieces will be a reimagined “Dark Side of the Moon” cover featured 16 video laser discs; hypodermic needles embedded into one work; and paintings of David Bowie’s ascending black neon star and Gustavo Cerati’s sidereal evolution.
He has been in Charleston since February. Both Parsons and Masáre have been featured muralists at the former D.B.’s Cheesesteaks on Savannah Highway in Avondale, West Ashley. Masáre has another upcoming mural along with eight other artists in Mount Pleasant.
A former chiropractor’s office has been transformed into a specialty market selling meat, sauces, seasonings, grilling accessories and more.Owned by Maddy and Jeremy Park, Heights Meat Market is now open at 426 W. Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.Prior to its July 1 opening, the Parks moved to Charleston from Florida, where the original three Heights Meat Market locations operate. The Mount Pleasant venue is the first to open outside of the Su...
A former chiropractor’s office has been transformed into a specialty market selling meat, sauces, seasonings, grilling accessories and more.
Owned by Maddy and Jeremy Park, Heights Meat Market is now open at 426 W. Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.
Prior to its July 1 opening, the Parks moved to Charleston from Florida, where the original three Heights Meat Market locations operate. The Mount Pleasant venue is the first to open outside of the Sunshine State.
With everything from classic pork chops to Australian wagyu filet, alligator tenders, duck and even kangaroo, the new specialty shop stands out while offering products across the price spectrum.
Mount Pleasant’s new butcher shop Heights Meat Market is now open on Saturday, July 1, 2023.
Maddy Park and her husband Jeremy Park take a customer’s order at the now open Heights Meat Market in Mount Pleasant on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
Kati Israel grills up samples at the now open Heights Meat Market in Mount Pleasant on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
A variety of spices are seen at the now open Heights Meat Market in Mount Pleasant on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
Charlie Henson, 7 (from left), Millie Henson, 8, and Jessica Henson look at the tasting bar at the now open Heights Meat Market in Mount Pleasant on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
Kati Israel serves up samples at the now open Heights Meat Market on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
A Japanese Wagyu beef cut is sold at the now open Heights Meat Market on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
Alyssa Cleary and Shawn Cleary look at cooler at the now open Heights Meat Market on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
Jeremy Park talks with a customer at the now open Heights Meat Market on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
People try out sauces at the tasting bar at the now open Heights Meat Market on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
Jeremy Park serves up chicken samples at the now open Heights Meat Market in Mount Pleasant on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff
On the weekends, Heights’ employees are cooking up samples for customers, imparting some edible entertainment into the shopping experience.
“It’s a fun place to shop,” Maddy Park said. “If they come in on any weekend, they’re going to get some tasty treats.”
Heights Meat Market is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit heightsmeatmarket.com.
Restaurants serving oysters are plentiful in Charleston.
From casual counter service to white tablecloth fine dining, here are a few places to start your journey:
In 2014, College of Charleston alumnus Jesse Sandole opened 167 Raw as an extension of his family’s seafood market at 167 Hummock Pond Road in Nantucket, Mass. The restaurant served lobster rolls, ceviche, raw and fried oysters, pastrami-style swordfish and more. It relocated to King Street in 2020. 167 Sushi Bar now resides in its old East Bay Street location.
It’s hard to argue with an evening at this spot five minutes from Folly Beach. Enjoy cold beer and fresh oysters picked from the waters surrounding the 13-acre island daily while watching the sunset.
The 75-year-old establishment, declared a James Beard Foundation American Classic, is an essential introduction to steamed oysters. But don’t expect white tablecloth service. At Bowens, piles of oysters are dumped onto half or full trays, and guests are handed oyster knives for self-shucking. This, and the unmatched setting, makes a meal here an immersive experience and prerequisite to a classic Lowcountry oyster roast.
Chef/owner James London features what could be described as a locally focused oyster-on-the-half-shell offering, with four of the six options coming from South Carolina.
Developing strong relationships with local purveyors has helped London bolster his supply. Steamboat Creek Oyster Farm, Barrier Island Oyster Co. and Braden Oyster Farm are among the farms London works with consistently.
Delaney’s offers a rotating selection of oysters that are refreshingly cold and without a speck of shell to pollute their cleanly shucked meat. Even better, the varieties are clearly labeled with tags affixed to bamboo picks. Delaney offers at least six types of fresh oysters, along with peel-and-eat shrimp and caviar and a variety of small and large cooked seafood plates.
Fleet Landing is owned by Tradd and Weesie Newton and is housed in a 1940s-era naval debarkation building. It might just be the only downtown oyster-serving waterfront restaurant. Visited by the likes of celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, Fleet Landing serves oysters on the half-shell with house-made cocktail sauce.
The burgeoning Mount Pleasant region will add another business to its lineup. Big Bad Breakfast, known for its custom-created meats, fresh biscuits and preserves and locally roasted coffee, will be moving into the former Cabana Burgers and Shakes at 2664 N. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.Wayne Bumgardner, who accepted the job as chief operating officer of the company early this year, resides in the growing area and anticipates an August opening.Working the way up through the ranksBumgardner touts a long hi...
The burgeoning Mount Pleasant region will add another business to its lineup. Big Bad Breakfast, known for its custom-created meats, fresh biscuits and preserves and locally roasted coffee, will be moving into the former Cabana Burgers and Shakes at 2664 N. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.
Wayne Bumgardner, who accepted the job as chief operating officer of the company early this year, resides in the growing area and anticipates an August opening.
Working the way up through the ranks
Bumgardner touts a long history of restaurant work, starting in fast food as a teen, then later working at Ruby Tuesday’s, first as a line cook, then as a regional trainer and later as a general manager.
Bumgardner then moved to Outback Steakhouse, opening an eatery in Blowing Rock, N.C.
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“The company became quite successful and I became a joint venture partner in North and South Carolina,” said Bumgardner. After that, Bumgardner joined up with Dallas-based Raising Cane’s, a fast casual, chicken tender restaurant where he became franchise leader. “This too, was very successful and the company bought the franchise back,” said Bumgardner, explaining that industry connections led him to his latest partnership with Big Bad Breakfast.
“Fresh Hospitality based in Birmingham, Alabama approached me with the opportunity to partner with them in a Big Bad Breakfast located in downtown Charleston,” said Bumgardner, whose goal as COO is to grow the brand.
The Big Bad Breakfast brand
According to Bumgardner, the Big Bad Breakfast brand is comprised of 15 restaurants, yet each one is different and represents the local area where they are situated.
“The décor is regionalized and is unique from restaurant to restaurant. You wouldn’t know that we’re a chain by walking into any of them,” he said.
Big Bad Breakfast is the brainchild of James Beard award-winner John Currence, who is reported on the company website as always having a “love affair with breakfast.”
“We add a chef’s touch to everything that we do. Plus, everything is scratch made and our menu is what we call unapologetically Southern,” Bumgardner said.
Among the menu selections are fried oyster scrambles, Creole omelets topped with homemade tomato gravy, cathead chicken biscuits with gravy, huevos rancheros grit bowls and chicken and waffles. If all of that has you contemplating a nap afterwards, there are light choices as well.
“We make our own granola and add it to yogurt and our avocado toast is out of this world,” Bumgardner said. Big Bad Breakfast also touts a full bar, so customers can avail themselves of mimosas and other drinks to top off their meals.
As for staff, Bumgardner acknowledges the difficulty that restaurants are having reaching a full contingent of servers, but recognizes that Big Bad Breakfast, with its shortened hours, appeals to those seeking an acceptable work-life balance.
“Because we’re only open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, our staff works from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., which attracts all kinds of people who dislike working nights and that’s a big advantage to us,” he said.
As for opening up in the Mount Pleasant area, Bumgardner said that he’s delighted to be in his neighborhood and part of a fast-growing area.
“Mount Pleasant used to be a sleepy little town near the beach, north of Charlestown and now it’s a sought-after area that has exploded in growth,” said Bumgardner, adding that new people are moving to the area every day and the fact that they can be at a beach in just a few minutes just adds to the area’s appeal.
“We’re looking forward to being a part of the fabric of the Mount Pleasant Community and are looking forward to what the future brings.”
Stephanie Kalina-Metzger is a contributing writer for SC Biz News.
One mother is demanding better for her children after what she said were questionable experiences at a Mount Pleasant daycare.CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - One mother is demanding better for her children after what she said were questionable experiences at a Mount Pleasant daycare.April Gilliard said her children attended Sunshine House for two years before she ultimately pulled them from the center after hearing a toddler was found wandering near Long Point Road.Witness reports from Sunshine House staff that were rec...
One mother is demanding better for her children after what she said were questionable experiences at a Mount Pleasant daycare.
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - One mother is demanding better for her children after what she said were questionable experiences at a Mount Pleasant daycare.
April Gilliard said her children attended Sunshine House for two years before she ultimately pulled them from the center after hearing a toddler was found wandering near Long Point Road.
Witness reports from Sunshine House staff that were received from the Department of Social Services show a toddler escaped out of a gate while on the playground and was found by staff in the arms of a truck driver.
Gilliard said the daycare never addressed what happened to the other parents, she was made aware of the situation through a post on social media.
“I asked about it and was told that wasn’t true,” Gilliard said. “I was told it was the previous director who was trying to sabotage the reputation or the name of the center.”
Gilliard said she had her own questionable experiences at the daycare as well. Some days she had trouble getting in contact with the daycare to check on her kids. On other days, when she received pictures from staff, it looked like too many children were in one classroom.
“When I got to the center I asked, ‘How was your day, what’s going on, did you guys have to combine classrooms,’” Gilliard said. “None of that was really communicated.”
She said the social media post about the escaped toddler was her final straw.
“It makes me question what happened prior to this incident,” Gilliard said.
Documents obtained from the Freedom of Information Act show inadequate supervision at the daycare has been an ongoing problem since 2015.
According to Department of Social Services documents, eight separate visits to the center reported deficiencies in areas like improper child-to-caregiver ratio, unqualified caregivers, inadequate supervision or improper accounting for the presence of children.
Gillard said by sharing her experiences, she is advocating for her own children and other children in the community.
“These are issues that are going on and no one is being held accountable, no one is actually speaking on it, and some parents don’t have social media to find out or learn about these things,” Gilliard said.
Sunshine House provided the following comment:
This past May, at our school in Mount Pleasant on Long Point Road, a child on the playground opened an exterior gate and was able to leave the premises and walk through the parking lot.
The safety and well-being of the children in our care is our highest priority. While the child was, thankfully, returned unharmed to the school two minutes later, we are distraught that this occurred.
Following the incident, we contacted the child’s family and officially notified our state licensor and Child Protective Services, per state licensing regulations and company procedures. The teachers were placed on administrative leave pending the results of both internal and state licensing investigations. The teachers involved are no longer employed with the company.
The playground gate was functioning and closed at the time of the incident. After this incident, we worked with our state licensors to identify a South Carolina state-approved lock, which was subsequently installed.
Two teachers were supervising 12 children on the playground at the time of the incident. The state ratio for this age group is 1 teacher to 6 children or 2 teachers to 12 children.
The safety and well-being of the children in our care is our highest priority, and we cannot stress enough how seriously we take this incident. We have bolstered our operational procedures and retrained teachers and teammates on playground safety checks and other safety protocols.
The Department of Social Services provided the following comment:
The provider in question was terminated from the ABC Quality program in June 2023 due to documented serious safety violations and the provider has not appealed the decision. Providers must be enrolled in the ABC Quality program to accept childcare scholarship funds issued by the Department of Social Services per federal guidelines.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.