School overcrowding issues addressed in Horry County

HORRY COUNTY (WMBF) - New details on the effort to keep classrooms from overcrowding.

The popularity of Horry County schools is forcing administrators to figure out how to keep kids from bumping elbows too often.

A facility optimization committee has been meeting over the past several months to look over classroom numbers in every school and to figure out the best way to handle the growing number of students in Horry County schools. Now, they've made a decision.

"We see capacity issues in the future, we might be able to help some of those with attendance line realignments and the committee felt we should examine that before we went further with other options," Coordinator of the Facility Optimization Committee Joe Burch said.

The facility optimization committee recommended the board form smaller committees to tackle the overcrowding issues. The focus would be to involve the community and receive input from the public before making any attendance realignments. Burch said in the future there could even be new buildings built.

"In some cases we will still be having to build new buildings. But in this case we felt these particular areas, even though they were overcrowded, they weren't sufficiently overcrowded enough to warrant a new school yet,"  Burch said.

This committee has officially pointed out the Horry County areas where something has to be done about overcrowding: they are schools in Conway, Loris, Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach. Although those are the schools that face the most overcrowding issues, the Horry County School Board decided Monday night to appoint a site committee to each high school in the county.

But all the primary, middle, and elementary schools will be the focus of new site committees. These will be smaller committees made up of school principals, district administrators and the communities being affected. Burch said it's important to get the parents involved in figuring out exactly what the final decision needs to be in order to fix the problem.

"It's gonna be key to any successful realignment, you have to have the community support. You have to have the stakeholder's involved. They have to be there from the ground up," Burch said.

Now beginning at the next school board meeting on February 25, the board is expected to begin nominated members to those smaller committees. Anyone interested in being a part of one of the committees should contact your district school board member. You can find out who that is here.

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