Horry County school board to consider new building plan for St. James area

vgrooms@thesunnews.comSeptember 27, 2013 

PHOTOSPIN.COM

— The Horry County school board is expected to settle on a new solution to the overcrowding in Horry County Schools’ St. James attendance area at its meeting Monday night.

Meetings with St. James Advisory Board members have been held during the last two weeks and produced some new ideas, said board member Harvey Eisner, chairman of the building committee. He declined to give more details but said he expects to be able to make a new proposal concerning St. James following the board’s discussion Monday about the area.

The board met in June to prioritize building projects that could be accomplished without raising taxes, borrowing money or using district reserves. Members agreed to build one $30 million middle school that would draw students from both the St. James and Socastee attendance areas. The new school would ease overcrowding at both St. James and Forestbrook middle schools, and those students still would be able to go to the high school they originally were slated to attend.

That plan was scratched Sept. 16 after Horry County Schools board member Janice Morreale, who represents St. James, said she was worried about the identity of the attendance area and said she would rather have one middle school built just for that area. Eisner urged the board to put at least some projects in motion, and the board agreed on a handful of short-term projects, which included the possibility of building additions to St. James and Forestbrook middle schools.

Other projects on that short-term list are the replacement of Socastee Elementary School, Myrtle Beach Intermediate School and the Horry County Education Center, and additions to Midland and Seaside elementary schools and North Myrtle Beach Middle School.

Eisner said board members were looking for a solution that would cost less than building a whole new middle school for just one attendance area, but they still would need a plan to address overcrowding at Forestbrook Middle.

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

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