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School officials present middle school rezoning plan

Posted: October 19, 2012 - 8:44am  |  Updated: October 21, 2012 - 12:11am
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Shannon Jones and Eric Skidmore, both of Martinez, look at a map of new zones resulting from  the opening of Columbia Middle School.  Photos by Jenna Martin
Photos by Jenna Martin
Shannon Jones and Eric Skidmore, both of Martinez, look at a map of new zones resulting from the opening of Columbia Middle School.

Martinez resident Shannon Jones is pleased with a proposed middle school rezoning that would send her child to Evans Middle School next year.

Jones, who lives in the Fox Run subdivision, has a son in the eighth grade at Columbia Middle School. Her younger son will begin the sixth grade next year at a school much closer to home.

In fact, Jones said her commute time will drop from 12 to five minutes.

“I’ve been doing it for three years,” Jones said of her drive to Columbia Middle. “And I’m done.”

Jones was one of about 50 people who attended a public meeting at Columbia Middle School that addressed new boundary lines for Columbia, Evans, Grovetown and Greenbrier Middle schools.

The new school zones are prompted by the new Columbia Middle opening on William Few Parkway next school year.

The plan calls for pupils living in the Merrymont and Quail Creek subdivisions to shift to Evans Middle.

Pupils living off Chamblin Road, south of Interstate 20 and north of Wrightsboro Road, and off Louisville Road, south of Heggies Ridge Drive, could be rezoned to the new Columbia Middle.

Under the plan, Evans and Grovetown Middle schools would see the biggest enrollment changes.

By the start of next school year, Grovetown Middle would drop from 1,013 to 821 pupils, while Evans Middle would increase from 763 to 931 pupils. Both projections were over capacity for the schools.

About 168 pupils, transferring from Columbia and Grovetown Middle schools, would be added to Evans Middle. About 192 pupils at Grovetown Middle would be reassigned, with the majority going to the new Columbia Middle.

Fifteen Greenbrier Middle pupils also would go to Columbia Middle.

School administrators also are considering zoning every student off Blanchard Road to the Evans school district.

A few parents voiced concerns at the meeting about Evans Middle’s population jumping over capacity.

School Superintendent Charles Nagle called the rezoning “a balancing act,” and noted that while growth at Evans Middle has stabilized, it’s increasing in the Grovetown area.

“The people come, and it’s our responsibility to educate them,” he said. “That’s a good problem to have.”

Parents can still fill out forms about the rezoning and return them to the school system for consideration. The rezoning is expected to go before the school board on Nov. 13.

After Columbia Middle closes in 2013 on Columbia Road, the site will continue to be used by the school system’s nutrition and transportation departments.

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