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Columbia County parents learn about middle school rezoning

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Dozens of parents attended a meeting Thursday night about new zones that will affect four Columbia County middle schools.

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This is the proposed new zoning district for Grovetown Middle School as presented at the Oct. 9 Columbia County School Board meeting.  SPECIAL
This is the proposed new zoning district for Grovetown Middle School as presented at the Oct. 9 Columbia County School Board meeting.

The proposed rezoning is prompted by the new Columbia County Middle School opening on William Few Parkway next school year. New boundary lines will be established for Columbia, Evans, Grovetown and Greenbrier middle schools.

Shannon Jones, who lives in Fox Run subdivision in Martinez, said her son will be rezoned from Columbia Middle to Evans Middle when he starts the sixth grade.

After three years of driving her older son to Columbia Middle, Jones said she’s excited to cut down her commute time from 12 minutes to about five minutes. She said she’s slightly disappointed that her son will miss out on attending the new two-story middle school.

The plan calls for pupils living in the Merrymont and Quail Creek subdivisions to shift to Evans Middle.

Pupils living off Chamblin Road, south of Interstate 20 and north of Wrightsboro Road, and off Louisville Road, south of Heggies Ridge Drive, could be rezoned to Columbia Middle.

Under the proposed plan, Evans and Grovetown middle schools would see the biggest changes to its pupil populations.

By the start of next school year, Grovetown Middle’s estimated population would drop from 1,013 to 821 pupils, while Evans Middle’s would increase from 763 to 931 pupils. Both projections were over capacity for the schools.

About 168 pupils, transferring from Columbia and Grovetown middle schools, would be added to Evans Middle. About 192 pupils at Grovetown Middle would be redistributed, with the majority going to Columbia Middle.

Fifteen students at Greenbrier Middle also would be moved to Columbia Middle.

School administrators are also looking at zoning all students off Blanchard Road into the Evans district.

Some who spoke out at the meeting were concerned with the high capacity projected at Evans Middle.

Superintendent Charles Nagle said growth at Evans Middle has stabilized but is increasing in the Grovetown area.

“It is a balancing act, and it’s very difficult,” he said.

Parents can still fill out forms about the rezoning and return them to the school system for consideration.

The rezoning is expected to go before the school board Nov. 13.

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