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Aiken County addresses overcrowding in schools

Posted: November 15, 2017 - 1:50am

Just as North Augusta High and Aiken High schools are beginning to utilize completed phases of construction projects and renovation areas, Aiken County Public Schools is already looking at new projects to begin. The North Augusta and Aiken projects were to update aging facilities, but the proposed new projects are expected help overcrowding facing many schools in the system.

Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford shared recommendations at two town hall meetings this week that he and school leaders hopes will alleviate overcrowding across the county. The first recommendation is to adjust area lines that would make the Trolley Run Station subdivision - currently located in Area 3 - a part of Area 1.

The second recommendation is to expand Midland Valley High School, a project that would cost an estimated $20 million. The county does not currently have the funding for the endeavor, but the school is at 110 percent capacity. The school has nine portables and teachers using carts to travel among the classes, making expansion eventually necessary, according to Director of Communications, Merry Glenne Piccolino.

Another recommendation is to expand three elementary schools that are approaching capacity. Belevedere, Millbrook and Hammond Hill elementaries would cost a combined $38 million to upgrade and expand, another project where funding is not currently available.

The final recommendation is to build a new elementary and middle school in Area 2 on 85 acres of donated land.

If the use of a $90 million bond referendum is supported by the community and then voter-approved, construction could begin in 2019 and completed in 2022.

A $236 million bond referendum in 2010 allowed for the renovations at Aiken High and Aiken County Career and Technology Center and the construction at North Augusta High, Leavelle McCampbell Middle, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary and Middle, as well as a new Area 5 middle school.

Aiken County Public Schools will continue to host town hall meetings over the next few weeks.

 

Meetings

Upcoming Aiken County Public Schools Town Hall Meetings

Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m., Aiken High

Nov. 30, 6 p.m., North Augusta High

Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m., Ridge Spring Monetta Middle High

Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m., Silver Bluff High School

 

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