Horry school board looks at growth plan that could bring four new middle schools

vgrooms@thesunnews.comFebruary 25, 2013 

— Members of the Horry County school board moved ahead Monday night in the ever-widening process of evaluating how to accommodate growth, including the study of a $634 million facility plan that would add five new schools and take the district through the next 10 years.

A three-member board subcommittee will go through the plan, which is just one of several long-term views being studied. Chairman Joe DeFeo said looking at all the scenarios in the 700-page book will be an all-encompassing task. Harvey Eisner and two others to be named later will serve on the subcommittee.

The comprehensive facility plan includes:

•  the construction of new middle schools for St. James, Carolina Forest, North Myrtle Beach and Socastee, and a new elementary school for St. James;

•  the renovation of North Myrtle Beach High School;

•  the construction of a new Myrtle Beach Intermediate School, which would house fourth through sixth grades, on the current site of the Myrtle Beach Family Learning Center;

•  an addition to Midland Elementary School;

•  the construction of a new Socastee Elementary School;

•  an expansion of areas at the district office;

•  the relocation of the Myrtle Beach Family Learning Center to the current Myrtle Beach Intermediate site and construction of a new facility;

•  the construction of a new Horry County Education Center.

To see the complete plan, go to www.horrycountyschools.net, click the departments bar, then go to support services, facilities.

The district is expected to add almost 4,000 students over the next 10 years, the plan said, with much of the growth expected in ninth through 12 grades and a little less in grades six to eight. Overcrowding currently is a problem in some areas and is hitting hard at the middle school level. A district-wide community panel met several times last fall to examine the problem and recommended the formation of site committees for further study in four of the district’s nine attendance areas.

The board approved the formation of those site committees, for the Conway, Loris, Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach areas, which will study possible attendance line shifts. DeFeo emphasized that the committees would not be limited to line shifts and can consider other options.

In other action, Jimmy Washington also sworn in as the new board member for District 3, representing Carolina Forest and Myrtle Beach. Washington is filling the unexpired term of DeFeo, who was elected chairman in the November election.

Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.

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