New middle school coming to Socastee area - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New middle school coming to Socastee area

SOCASTEE, SC (WMBF) - Packed classrooms are pushing Horry County School District to build new ones. The school board has decided to give the Socastee area's only middle school some relief from overcrowding.

School Board Chairman Joe DeFeo said the board approved the purchase of land for a new middle school that will sit off Big Block Road near Highway 707.

"I feel very confident that this new middle school is just going to join the group and we're going to really do what's best for kids," said April Scott, principal for Forestbrook Middle School.

The district is buying about 30 acres of land for $1,050,000. The price tag could be lower if wetlands are discovered on the property, DeFeo said.

This purchase is the last piece of land the district needed to secure for its next phase of construction, DeFeo said.

Five schools will be built at the same time, including this new middle school in Socastee, Myrtle Beach Middle, Carolina Forest Middle, St. James Middle and Socastee Elementary. The district aims to have all of them built and open during the 2016-2017 school year.

Until then, Forestbrook Middle School is dealing with an overcrowded building and continuous growth in student population, up 200 students within five years, Principal Scott said.

"Class size is very tight," she said. "It can range all the way up to in some of our exploratory classes well into the thirties and then in our core academic classes in the high twenties."

The middle school has six lunch periods and can't seat all of its students in the gym at one time for an assembly. Principal Scott said teachers are looking forward to being able to do more in the classrooms once the new middle school opens.

"It's a great opportunity for us to give students a little bit more one-on-one attention in the classroom as well as just actual physical room," she said.

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