|New schools planned to ease crowding in local classes|
|Wednesday, 15 September 2010 09:58|
Two Fountain Inn schools overcrowded by population growth were relieved last year with the opening of Rudolph Gordon Elementary School, but eventually more construction will be necessary to keep pace.
“We have continued growth projected in the southern end of the county,” said Greenville County Schools spokesman Oby Lyles.
Gordon elementary, built at Jones Mill and Scuffletown roads on the north side of town, eased strain at Bryson Elementary and Bell’s Crossing Elementary. It is the fifth public school serving Fountain In residents, joining Fountain Inn Elementary, Bryson Elementary, Bryson Middle and Hillcrest High. Bell’s Crossing serves an area further north, northeast of Simpsonville.
Hillcrest High is the largest school in Greenville County, and the Greenville County school district is the largest district in the state.
And population in the area just keeps growing. Fountain Inn is one of the fastest growing cities with a population of under 10,000 in South Carolina, and Greenville County, already the state’s most populated county 438,119 residents, is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.
Lyles said the school board and administration are working to accommodate the influx.
An addition to Gordon Elementary is already planned, and if growth projections hold true, two new middle schools will be built in the Fountain Inn area in the next 10 years. A new high school to relieve crowding at Hillcrest, Woodmont and Mauldin is approved and planned by 2016.
Major renovation to Bryson Middle began last summer.
The overall, Greenville County-wide district typically grows by about 1,000 students each year, Lyles said, but that growth was projected to be down to about 600 this year. The sagging national and local economy caused the growth to slow by impacting employment, Lyles said, but even in the trend Fountain Inn-area school expect more students.
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