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Old 09-17-2018, 12:08 PM
 
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Hi all,

Just checking into this forum because I am interviewing for a job that would be located in downtown Charleston. I've done a little research, and it looks like the South Hills area has good schools (George Washington High in particular). We have four kids, so this would be important to us.

Also, we're looking to be closer to shopping and recreation than we are now. We live in a very rural area of the Carolinas. I like the countryside and outdoors, but it's about 45 minutes to the nearest Wal-Mart, Target, etc. It's a similar long drive to anything like a YMCA or rec-league kids' sports. Is South Hills active in that type of thing? Are there other areas we should be looking at as well? It looks like Nitro also has decent schools, and maybe Putnam County (e.g., Poca). But I've read the commute into downtown can be tricky from those areas? Where do most of the downtown professional types live?

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:32 PM
 
630 posts, read 369,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryMan64 View Post
Hi all,

Just checking into this forum because I am interviewing for a job that would be located in downtown Charleston. I've done a little research, and it looks like the South Hills area has good schools (George Washington High in particular). We have four kids, so this would be important to us.

Also, we're looking to be closer to shopping and recreation than we are now. We live in a very rural area of the Carolinas. I like the countryside and outdoors, but it's about 45 minutes to the nearest Wal-Mart, Target, etc. It's a similar long drive to anything like a YMCA or rec-league kids' sports. Is South Hills active in that type of thing? Are there other areas we should be looking at as well? It looks like Nitro also has decent schools, and maybe Putnam County (e.g., Poca). But I've read the commute into downtown can be tricky from those areas? Where do most of the downtown professional types live?

Thanks in advance for any input.


Based on what your criteria seems to be and that you have already come to the same conclusion with your preliminary groundwork, you are correct. South Hills is the target for you.


I am not sure what you mean by active. Do you mean neighbors wondering around the street chit-chatting? If so, I don't think you will see any of that. Most of South Hills are working professional families with two earners. Both have degrees and perform mid-level and up management or similar classes of employment. Most will be credentialed such as doctors and lawyers. GW is the number 1 school in the state. You can be downtown in 10 minutes or less but the YMCA, which is rather expansive and new is bit further. It is on the ridgeline overlooking the capitol building on the East End.


The other area in competition is Teays Valley with townships like Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Hurricane and Poca. Hurricane High School is rated in the top 10 in the state I believe. It has most of what South Hills has but the drive into and out of Charleston is much worse - much worse. The worst traffic in the metro area and perhaps the worst factor. You drive into the rising sun in the morning and the setting sun in the evening.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:03 PM
 
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Caden,

Thanks for the reply.

By "active," I was specifically thinking about a YMCA or youth sports leagues for kids not old enough for interscholastic school sports.

I'll look some more into Teays Valley as well, but it's good to know about the traffic situation. Other than the drive into the sun, why is the traffic so much worse out that way? Are homes cheaper or more available in that direction? I think I remember reading in another thread that Teays Valley has a wider selection of newer homes than South Hills.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:17 PM
 
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I do not live in Charleston so I am not going to be able to give the kind of advice as others but it seems to me that Charleston has quite a bit going on to keep a family busy.
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:54 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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Well, South Hills does look like a reasonable fit, although many of the home are indeed older than the subdivision homes in Teays Valley. The traffic backs up with commuters from Teays Valley working in downtown Charleston. Besides the usual traffic slowdowns, all the good weather months are plagued with road resurfacing projects on the Interstates, and, every time it rains, somebody takes one for the team and wrecks their car on one of the Interstate bridges between Dunbar and South Charleston. Every time it rains. In recent years, this problem is being duplicated near the bridge between the Nitro and St. Albans exits, where the Interstate narrows from 6 lanes to 4 lanes.

From South Hills, Walmart (and most any other store you would need) are just 5-6 miles south on Corridor G (Route 119). Most people refer to that area as Southridge, even though that is technically the name of one of several shopping developments out there.

Another area to look into is Fort Hill. It's similar to South Hills, but is generally described as the area west of Corridor G while South Hills is east of the Corridor.

There are other areas with nice homes, but you seemed to be most interested in those in the GW school district.

Getting to the Y is not difficult. It's only a mile or two from the Interstate exit behind the Capitol Complex.
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:04 AM
 
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I recommend you look at The Ridges outside of Charleston on Rt 119. It was recently incorporated into the city of South Charleston and the services are good (twice a week trash pickup and they kept the roads cleared from snow).

They have a Clubhouse you can use for kids' pool parties and on occasion they may do an outdoor community movie night. There is also a tennis court at the clubhouse.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Th...!4d-81.7626188
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:58 AM
 
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mensaguy and bball, thanks for the other recommendations. I'll look into them as well.

I am most interested in homes in the GW district, primarily because that looks like the highest rated high school in the area (according to sites like Great Schools, US News, etc.). However, we're not locked into GW as our only option.

One concern is that we will most likely have to rent at first, and we need at least a 4-bedroom house for our family. I'm not sure how difficult it will be to find a suitable rental in the GW district. I'm willing to expand that housing search into other Charleston areas as long as the schools are solid. Is there really that big a difference academically between GW and other schools such as Nitro, Hurricane, South Charleston, etc.? My oldest daughter is in the midst of h.s. right now and is taking AP classes but is also really into music and drama.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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I grew up in Charleston and still have a lot of family living in the area- GW is generally considered a step or two above the other high schools in the Kanawha Valley and has been for years. It is also the AP magnet school for Kanawha County meaning that the course selections will be more extensive than the other schools. That in no way means your child could not get a perfectly fine education at any of the other schools, especially if he/ she is a strong student but generally if you can get into the South Hills school district these days, go for it. South Charleston I believe is still home to the international baccalaureate program so that could be something to look into as well.

You will find that South Hills is generally pricier than other areas of the Kanawha Valley due to relatively high demand to live in that area with limited supply of new homes. The Teays Valley area of Putnam County grew at a very fast clip in the 80s and 90s as it had a large amount of abundant land for new homes and lower taxes. The growth out that way has since slowed a bit as most of the open land has already been developed but there are still more newer home options that way than in Charleston proper. Many people in Teays Valley commute to work in Charleston which causes very heavy traffic congestion in the mornings and on the return in the evenings- especially as you enter Kanawha County and join commuters from other communities like Cross Lanes/ Nitro so you will need to factor that in. I would be curious to hear from those who are still living in the area but I don't believe the differences in home costs between Teays Valley and Charleston are as big as they used to be- When I was growing up in the area (80s/90s), one could save a decent chunk of change by moving to Putnam County- I don't think it is quite the case anymore. At least from what I've heard/ seen on local real estate listings.

I am not sure what you are wanting to pay for a gym but if in South Hills, the Charleston Tennis Club has an excellent fitness facility and you have an added benefit of tennis and a nice outdoor pool in the summer for kids social activities. The swim clubs are quite popular in Charleston for the summer months. The Y has an indoor one but just giving you an option closer to your potential new home.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:36 AM
 
822 posts, read 1,197,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryMan64 View Post
mensaguy and bball, thanks for the other recommendations. I'll look into them as well.

I am most interested in homes in the GW district, primarily because that looks like the highest rated high school in the area (according to sites like Great Schools, US News, etc.). However, we're not locked into GW as our only option.

One concern is that we will most likely have to rent at first, and we need at least a 4-bedroom house for our family. I'm not sure how difficult it will be to find a suitable rental in the GW district. I'm willing to expand that housing search into other Charleston areas as long as the schools are solid. Is there really that big a difference academically between GW and other schools such as Nitro, Hurricane, South Charleston, etc.? My oldest daughter is in the midst of h.s. right now and is taking AP classes but is also really into music and drama.
The Ridges is in the GW attendance district.

They have townhomes/condos that can be rented that could accommodate you. (at least they did when my son was looking out there). His town home was absolutely HUGE in sq footage.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:48 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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Nobody's children are going to get a second class education at South Charleston High School. It may not be rated as highly as GW, but there is nothing wrong with that school. Also, if I remember correctly, it's fairly easy to enroll your kids at a school outside their residential district (within the county). You just have to transport them to school and back yourself.
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