Richmond Hill will likely need another elementary school within five years if present growth trends continue, school board members were told during a Bryan County Board of Education workshop at Lanier Primary on Monday.
And that’s just for starters, according to Assistant Superintendent Brad Anderson.
Topping the list of facility needs is a replacement for Bryan County Elementary School, but more classrooms at Lanier Primary and completion of the board offices in the old Black Creek school are also needed, Anderson told board members.
A new Richmond Hill Elementary School opened for business this fall, but the school is already short on classroom space based on state formulas that assign classrooms based on student count.
Carver Elementary, Lanier Primary and Richmond Hill Primary are also in the same boat -- and despite a down economy, projections call for more growth in South Bryan schools.
For example, Carver is expected to have more than 1,095 students by the beginning of the 2014 school year. It currently has an enrollment of 826.
Richmond Hill High School’s enrollment, now at 1,538, could grow to more than 1,963 during the same period if the projections hold true.
By contrast, Bryan County Middle School isn’t expected to grow by more than 1 percent over the next five years. The school currently has an enrollment of 408 and projections show it with a student population of 429 by 2014. Other North Bryan schools also are expected to grow at a slow pace.
Despite the formula showing a ‘classroom deficit,’ Superintendent John Oliver said the schools aren’t overcrowded at this point because "we have maximized class size, so that means technically, we have more children in a given classroom than the state formula calls for. It’s not more than a classroom can legally hold, but it is more than the state formula."
But Oliver said the need for a new elementary school is real if South Bryan continues to grow.
-Read more in Saturday's Bryan County News.