Lexington One plans for tax-increase and rezoning students

Lexington District One launches five-Year Growth Plan. The district issued a press release (published below) outlining the plan.

At the Tuesday, regular monthly meeting of the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees, the board heard administrators’ recommendations for a Five-Year Growth Plan.

During the past 10 years (2006–2016), Lexington District One grew by an average of 533 new students per year and remains one of the fastest-growing school districts in the state, ranking eighth in total enrollment.

To keep up with this tremendous growth, the district built 13 schools in the last 15 years. Even so, the district still uses more than 150 portables.

As enrollment continues to grow by more than 500 students a year, the district recognizes the need for a new Five-Year Growth Plan.

So, how can the district prepare for and fund growth?

District administrators propose a Five-Year Growth Plan, which includes strategies that the district can use immediately and strategies for implementation over the next five years.

There are five phases to the growth plan:

Phase One — Rezone existing attendance lines to provide relief to the Meadow Glen schools.

Phase Two — Build a new middle school on Highway 378 with existing capital funds and eight percent money.

Phase Three — Do a complete district-wide facilities study.

Phase Four — Consider a future Bond Referendum to pay for facilities’ needs and future construction identified in the facilities study.

Phase Five — Implement approved recommendations from the facilities study.

Phase One — Rezone existing attendance lines to provide relief to the Meadow Glen schools.

The district continues to experience rapid growth in the areas around the Meadow Glen schools.

Since Meadow Glen Elementary opened in 2011, it has gone from an enrollment of 565 to 1,047.

After opening in 2012, Meadow Glen Middle has gone from an enrollment of 767 to 1,186.

Lexington County projects the area will continue to grow rapidly.

In Phase One of the Five-Year Growth Plan, rezoning, the district implements the first step in a proactive approach to unchecked student growth. As a result, the first step of the 5-Year Growth

Plan includes new attendance zones for Lexington Middle, Meadow Glen Elementary, Meadow

Glen Middle, Midway Elementary and New Providence Elementary schools — in response to the immediate need for relief in the seriously overcrowded Meadow Glen schools.

The impact of that rezoning can be seen in the chart below. Simply put, some children who attend these schools this year may attend a different school after the new attendance lines go into effect in 2017–2018. Please note that the numbers listed for rezoned enrollment are based upon no rising fifth-graders (current fourth-graders) at the elementary schools and no rising eighth-graders (current seventh-graders) electing to stay at their current schools for their “senior” or exit year through the grandfathering option. That election would, of course, affect the numbers for the first year after rezoning once these students and their families make their preference known.

School Current Enrollment Rezoned Enrollment

Lexington Middle Current – 850 Rezoned – 1,054

Meadow Glen Middle Current – 1,186 Rezoned – 968

Meadow Glen Elementary Current – 1,047 Rezoned – 865

Midway Elementary Current – 798 Rezoned – 869

New Providence Elementary Current – 552 Rezoned – 654

The district will hold four public meetings so that the public can hear a short, formal presentation of the proposed attendance lines and review maps of the proposed attendance lines. After the presentation, parents will be able to review the new attendance lines proposed by the district, ask questions of district representatives and fill out a feedback form. All meetings begin at 6 p.m., and district staff will stay until 7:30 p.m. to answer questions. See dates and locations below:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at New Providence Elementary School

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at Meadow Glen Middle School

Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at Lexington Middle School

Thursday, March 16, 2017, at Midway Elementary School

Parents may attend any of these meetings, as the same information will be provided at each meeting. Parents can also keep up with information about the rezoning process online at: www.lexington1.net.

Phase Two — Build a new middle school on Highway 378 with existing capital funds and eight percent money.

The district recognizes that rezoning is merely a temporary solution to overcrowding and that a more permanent solution is needed. In Phase Two of the 5-Year Growth Plan, the district proposes building a new middle school on Highway 378 in Lexington just before Beechwoods Drive.

The rezoning in Phase One buys the district time and begins to pave the way for new attendance

lines for the new middle school, which could open as early as the 2019–2020 academic year.

Funding for construction of the new middle school would take place outside of the normal Bond

Referendum process, as funds for the construction project would come from existing capital funds and eight percent money. (The district can issue general obligation bonds up to eight percent of its assessed value without a referendum.)

Phases Three, Four and Five prepare the way for more permanent longer-term solutions.

Phase Three — Do a complete district-wide facilities study.

In Phase Three, the district initiates a districtwide facilities study, which identifies existing facility needs and future facility construction.

Phase Four — Consider a future Bond Referendum to pay for facilities’ needs and future construction identified in the facilities study.

In Phase Four, the district pulls together a School Community Facilities Study group made up of school administrators, parents, students, community members, business owners, etc. The group would be tasked with reviewing the facilities study, learning about the district’s growth and needs, and giving feedback on the facilities study’s identified projects.

Phase Five — Implement facilities study approved recommendations.

In Phase Five, district administrators assess and use the work of the School Community Facilities Study group as well as the information gathered in the facilities study to create a building plan funded by a Bond Referendum, focusing on elementary and middle school projects.

Comments

Comments