A second phase of growth near Greenbrier High School is in the works.
The high school was built 10 years ago to accommodate growth in the northern part of the county, focused around the first phase of the Riverwood Plantation development at Washington Road and William Few Parkway.
Now, the county will consider developer Wayne Millar's application for the second phase at their Oct. 20 meeting.
Millar is seeking approval to develop 1,500 acres of land west of Greenbrier High School. Included in the application are plans for a 1,077-acre residential development featuring 3,621 new homes and 433 acres of commercial development, Columbia County Planning Director Jeff Browning said at a Development Authority of Columbia County meeting Sept. 20.
Millar said Thursday that no major changes had been made to the application.
At the development authority's September meeting, Browning projected that the development could amount to an additional 1,700 students, not including additional growth not associated with Riverwood Plantation.
"If all that is holding true, and if the student population holds true, we have advised (Millar's group) that they need to be thinking of setting aside a site of 50 acres for a school location," Browning said Thursday. "I'm not suggesting that's dedicated land. I'm suggesting that that is land that is set aside in some place that it would be mutually agreeable to (the developers) and to the school board a good location for an elementary and a middle school."
At a minimum to accommodate that growth, "we would be looking at one more elementary and middle school in that same vicinity," said Charles Nagle, associate school superintendent of student support.
Millar said in September that no plans had been made to set aside land, but Thursday he said he is considering it.
"There's no decision made, but obviously we will cooperate within reason with the school board and their wishes," Millar said.
Nagle said the school board is working with a consultant to determine the best place for a school.
He said the growth throughout the county and available land will determine the next high school's location.
"Greenbrier is our fastest-growing high school," Nagle said. "The new high school coming in - wherever we put that - would have to relieve Greenbrier High School, Evans High School, Lakeside High School and Harlem High School. We would be looking for property somewhere in a central location that would do that."
Millar has received approval to build a second entry into the development about a mile west of William Few Parkway. The thoroughfare, to be called Pollard's Pass, is designed to alleviate congestion and will be the link to the new development, Millar said.
"The theory of a community or town is that those that live in Riverwood would just feed the school itself," Millar said Thursday. "But we realize there are also residents on Hardy McManus (Road) and William Few that would like to have access to the school. We've got to work it all out."
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