Transportation, zonings and better relations were the topics of conversation at a quarterly meeting Tuesday between the Columbia County Commission and school board.
School board members asked for the commission's help in establishing a second egress from Greenbrier High School onto a planned road that will run directly in front of the high school. The road will intersect Washington Road at Old Washington Road, which will be realigned, and create a second entrance and exit to the Greenbrier schools complex.
"It would be more convenient for people going west," commission Chairman Ron Cross said.
During the meeting, Cross telephoned a developer with the road project, who said he would lend his help to creating the egress.
For their part, county officials expressed concern about pupils getting dropped off at the Evans government complex each afternoon.
School Superintendent Tommy Price explained that the government complex is used as a school bus depot for pupils attending the Columbia County Board of Education Alternative School. Alternative school pupils are not allowed to drive to the school in Grovetown.
The school board chose the site as a depot because of a Columbia County Sheriff's Office substation located in the complex.
Price said he could start looking into other locations for a depot.
Cross said that might not be necessary.
"I don't know that I want them roaming around on private property," he said.
School board members expressed concern about the recent rezoning of unused property at 4046 Washington Road, which is between Washington Road and the back of Merchant's Village shopping center on Columbia Road.
The commission recently approved the rezoning so an apartment complex can be constructed at the location.
The complex will be adding pupils to already crowded schools zoned for the area, which are Martinez Elementary, Evans Middle and Evans High schools, School Board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco said.
"We've voiced this concern before," Price said.
County Planning and Development Director Jeff Browning said he expects that the complex will produce about 50 pupils.
Still, board members asked the commission to work with developers on their behalf to help them find property to build new schools as the county grows.
"I think the key is formalizing how you can assist us in finding land for schools," Price said.
"We don't want to deny people the right to move to Columbia County."
Officials also addressed the relationship between the two government entities.
"I have this feeling that we're always contradicting each other," said Wayne Bridges, the school board vice chairman.
Buccafusco suggested a summit between the groups to find projects they can work on together.
"Let's put something positive out there people can talk about," she said.
Cross agreed that the government bodies needed to improve communication and offered to meet with the school board once every two months, instead of the current quarterly meetings.
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