Effingham officials propose redistricting options as schools run out of room

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - The Effingham County Board of Education is hosting its final public hearing concerning redistricting the school system.

School officials say more families are moving to the county and their classrooms are running out of room.

"We haven't grown like this, since way back. We were growing 400 something kids before the recession hit but now we're back at growing 400 something kids again," said Lamar Allen, the board chair of Effingham County Schools.

Allen said more families are moving to Effingham and classrooms all over the county are running out of room

"We got to have room. We've grown like 480 kids this year," Allen said.

Effingham County School Superintendent Randy Shearouse says the existing schools just don't have the room.

"Normally, our schools are built for 750 but you know if you're growing by 450 students plus a year that's almost an elementary school a year," Shearouse said.

The new Rincon Elementary is set to open this August. It's expected to hold 1,200 students by the start of the next school year.

"We just got to build bigger because money wise, we just don't have money to build more schools hardly," Allen said. "Buying in Effingham County makes a big difference for us and it makes a difference for all the people."

The superintendent said more students are enrolling each year.

"Folks are moving and building in different places, but that's a lot of growth each year. And that's a challenge and will be a challenge," Shearouse said.

In addition to building bigger schools, the school system is also looking at redistricting students to new zones.

"This gives us the opportunity to at least make around a hundred spaces available at every school. So, if people move in they will have a school that they can go to," Allen said.

And if the trend continues, these spots won't be open for very long.

"I don't really see, from what the realtors and everyone have been telling me, I don't really see a slowdown in it. That's why we're building this school as big as we can build it to help offset room," Allen said.

School officials are here to listen to parents' feedback when it comes to redistricting.

They'll also take a look at the proposed zones. For more info on the new proposed districts, please click here.

The school board is expected to make their decision next month.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.