With construction under way, school officials are deciding which pupils will attend the new Grovetown middle school.
A public hearing has been set Thursday for parents to look at the three rezoning options school officials are considering. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Harlem Middle School auditorium.
The rezoning plans use the existing boundaries of Grovetown, Euchee Creek and North Harlem elementary schools, which feed into the Harlem and Grovetown middle schools.
All three plans involve keeping North Harlem Elementary School pupils at Harlem Middle School. Pupils from Grovetown Elementary School would attend the new middle school.
The plans differ only in how the Euchee Creek Elementary zone is divided.
Officials favor the option that splits that zone in half from Louisville/Old Louisville Road to Reynolds Farm Road.
"It's the best option," Columbia County School Superintendent Tommy Price said. "It leaves Harlem more crowded, but Grovetown is growing."
When the new middle school is built, Price said, Harlem Middle will no longer need its 16 portable units. Ideal pupil capacity for Harlem Middle is 29 rooms with 19 pupils per room - a total of 550 pupils, Price said.
The new Grovetown middle school would have a 650-pupil capacity.
Splitting the Euchee Creek zone in half would leave 410 in Harlem Middle and 391 in the Grovetown middle school zone. But it would also leave room for expansion in the Grovetown middle zone, which is in the fastest-growing area, Price said.
The second zoning option would place more pupils in the Grovetown middle area by shifting pupils who live off Gordon Highway and Old Louisville Road to the new middle school.
The 60 pupils in this area would then give the new school 451, and Harlem Middle would be left with 350.
The third zoning option would be the same as the others, except that pupils living in the Gordon Highway and Eagle Ridge Area would be left in the Harlem Middle School zone. There are 33 pupils in this area. That would leave 377 pupils in Harlem Middle and 424 in the Grovetown middle zone.
Price said he didn't expect the rezoning issue to be controversial.
"We didn't see any other realistic options," he said of the three proposals.
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