At home in the: Lakeside School Zone

When Peter and Lisa Mourfield began looking for a house two years ago in Columbia County's Lakeside school zone, they had a list of things they did and did not want in their new home.


"We wanted all brick, low maintenance with (a) small yard in a neighborhood," she said. "And we've always wanted a pool."

Or so they thought.

The house they bought met none of those criteria, but what it did have was even better, she said.

Their home is in the Lakeside district, but it's on a 1-acre lot near the Savannah River, and has a pond in the back and a huge, covered back porch. The porch often serves as a family room.

"We like to sit out and watch the Braves and football, she said.

It's a usable space, even in summer.

"We get a cool breeze off the pond. It's shaded and really pleasant," her husband said.

The pond is a source of recreation for the family, too.

"There are fish in the pond. We fish a lot," Lisa Mourfield said.

The family often sees wildlife behind their home, including deer and foxes and recently even some otters.

Inside, there is a spacious living room that the previous owners probably created by removing separating walls.

Peter Mourfield likes the unusual slatted ceiling, which caught his attention early in the house-hunting process.

"When I first walked in the door, I said, 'I don't need to look at any other houses,' " he said.

There is a bonus room above the garage. It is far enough away that if their sons want to play loud music, it doesn't bother the parents, they said.

The Mourfield's house is not alone on their street, but the other homes are situated on larger lots with space between the neighbors.

Not being in an organized neighborhood with a swim team and other activities is no problem for the Mourfields.

"We love it out here," she said.

Living in the Lakeside High School zoning district in Columbia County

Number of students at Lakeside High School: 1,644

Lakeside superlatives: Lakeside has been a Georgia School of Excellence three times (1993,1995 and 2005); it has been named by Newsweek magazine as being in the top 1 percent of high schools in the nation. In 2009, it was ranked 307th out of 27,000 high schools.

Feeder schools: Blue Ridge, Martinez, River Ridge, South Columbia and Stevens Creek elementary schools; Stallings Island and Lakeside middle schools.

Note: Some of the elementary feeder schools send pupils to middle schools that do not feed into Lakeside.

A sampling of subdivisions in the Lakeside district: Petersburg Station, Jones Creek, Halifax East, West Lake, Hampstead, Wynngate, Blue Ridge Crossing

Number of homes on the market zoned for Lakeside High: 299

Sources:, Columbia County Board of Education Web site,

THE FAMILY: Peter and Lisa Mourfield and their sons, Zachary Drew, 15, and Nicholas, 11

THE HOUSE: 3,800-square-foot, four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath home in the Lakeside school zone