News 12 at 11, January 10, 2008
EVANS, Ga. --- Columbia County has been growing for years, but it can be a challenge for the school system to keep up. A new middle school should help, but it's going to mean other middle school students will be changing schools.
Hundreds of parents showed up Thursday night at a public hearing in Evans, and many were outraged. Lisa Campbell is not in favor of the rezoning. Her son is a 7th grader at Greenbrier Middle School and has one more year there, and thats where she wants him to be able to finish.
"If they pull him over to Harlem or to Grovetown Middle he'll be with all new kids that he doesn't know," Lisa Campbell said.
Some parents were looking ahead at the big picture, hoping the rezoning won't affect their kids.
"We picked this house for the zones, the school, the elementary, middle, high school and it doesn't affect us now, but what will happen in two years?" Michael Stransky said.
All seven middle schools will be affected somehow by this rezoning. Columbia County School Superintendent, Charles Nagle said the rezoning project has been in progress for two years.
"Our responsibility is to provide the best education when they get there," Columbia County School Superintendent, Charles Nagle said.
He said they plan to get this done before the next school year. The Board of Education is considering options for the rezoning for Stallings Island Middle School, which will open in August.
"This is the best way to balance all of our schools and to be able to get all of them out of the portables and into buildings," Nagle said.
Superintendent Nagle said the benefits are to eliminate portable classrooms, relieve overcrowded schools, and balance middle school enrollment.
"There's always that movement of population and the schools are already built. We have to adjust to meet those needs," Nagle said.
Superintendent Nagle said he knows the rezoning is a tough time on everyone, but said its a necessary change.
"It's not something we want to do to stir up problems. We feel like this is best academically for the students," Nagle said.
Nagle said they will be taking this to the board for final approval on January 22.