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Grovetown growth causes Baker Place to open new kindergarten class

Baker Place Elementary

With a new subdivision bringing more families to the area, Baker Place Elementary is expecting many more children to attend the school. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 11, 2011)

News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011

GROVETOWN, Ga. -- Columbia County started the new year with a new school. Baker Place Elementary is a $12 million building off Baker Place Road, near William Few Parkway.

About 725 students started there Monday, which is about 75 more than the school expected. Many of the students were rezoned from Cedar Ridge and Lewiston to ease overcrowding.

Soon, Baker Place could have some overcrowding of its own.

Kindergartners walk the halls of Baker Place single file. That line is 20 kids long, but it was almost longer.

"Most of our kindergarten classes before the first day of school had about 26 students in each classroom," said Baker Place Principal LeeAnn Fleischauer. "At that time we had five [kindergarten] classrooms."

Room 210 makes the sixth. Luckily for the school, they had the space.

"Our building is built to house 850 and we can actually serve up to 900," Fleischauer said. "So we actually have some empty classrooms here we can fill."

Right now, Baker Place has about 725 kids, but if the activity surrounding the school means anything, the halls are about to get more crowded.

The school lies right in the middle of a new development, Hidden Creek. Workers will finish construction in four to five years, and when it's done, experts say there will be about 600 new homes in that neighborhood alone.

Eleonora Stephenson, a realtor for Blanchard and Calhoun, said they've already made 41 sales. Most of which -- if not all -- were to families with kids.

"Having the two schools here, it's going to be a very good place for raising a family," Stephenson said.

So good a place, she says, realtors use the schools as a sales pitch. And if they're successful, that means a lot more kids will go to Baker Place Elementary.

"They are moving here," Stephenson said. "We're expecting more."

And the school is ready for it.

"Yes, we will be getting new students, but we're ready for them," Fleischauer said.

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