New proposed school zones for Evans and Martinez Elementary schools seemed well received Wednesday by those attending the first of two public meetings about the rezoning.
Nearly a dozen parents attended the meeting at Evans Elementary, where they were told that pupils currently attending Bel Air Elementary School would be split in half between Evans and Martinez Elementary schools.
The rezoning is necessary as the new Evans Elementary is expected to open next school year.
All students currently attending Evans Elementary will remain at the school.
The Columbia County School System’s proposal showed about 181 pupils from Bel Air Elementary shifting to the new school, while about 212 pupils would be moved to Martinez Elementary.
“I’m happy with it,” said Melissa Brown, whose son will be rezoned for Evans Elementary.
Brown’s son is currently a fourth-grader at Bel Air Elementary. She said the zoning ensures that he will go to Evans Middle School with his friends.
“You just want to make sure the adjustment goes smoothly,” she said.
Only 23 Greenbrier Elementary pupils living on Blanchard Road, south of Clark Drive to Hereford Farm Road, will be moved to the new Evans Elementary.
The Columbia County School System’s proposal showed a line just east of the Moss Creek subdivision north to Owens Road at Marty Drive separating the two school zones.
Pupils living to the east of that line will attend Martinez Elementary, while pupils to the west will go to Evans Elementary.
While Bel Air Elementary is closing after this school year, the campus will be used by Martinez Elementary as its current building is razed and rebuilt. The new school is expected to open in August 2014.
School Superintendent Charlie Nagle said consolidating into two elementary schools will save the school system about $1 million annually in administrative costs.
Nagle encouraged parents to fill out and return forms to the school system, voicing their opinions on the rezoning.
“We’re building this school for you, and we do care,” he said.
A second public rezoning meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Sept. 27 at Bel Air Elementary, 325 N. Belair Road.