Space to Fill
Scientology Center to put down roots at Maybank Five Points
By Charlie Morrison
What was once the murky future surrounding the five-parcel property located at the five points intersection on James Island’s Maybank Highway has cleared considerably of late. Last Wednesday, current property owner J.L. Woode, Ltd. announced the sale of the 1.5-acre property to the Church of Scientology of Greater Charleston, which has plans in place to open an expansive new religious center at the location. The announcement comes on the heels of an March 12 appeal made by J.L. Woode, Ltd. for a rezoning of the property along with an amendment to the County’s Comprehensive Plan.
Plans have already been hammered out for the 28,000-square-foot Ideal Church of Scientology of Greater Charleston, though project planners hired by the church will await the ruling of the Charleston County Zoning and Planning Department before officially presenting them to the public. Details of the plan have been leaked, however. Current plans for the facility include a Grand Chapel that will be home all religious services and ceremonies, a number of seminar rooms, classrooms and extra space for Scientology auditing (spiritual counseling).
The facility will also house an information center to provide a complete introduction to the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion, as well as the life and legacy of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 10,000 churches, missions, and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries. The Ideal Church of Scientology of Greater Charleston will join more than a dozen new facilities to with grand openings scheduled across the country in the coming year.