Muscogee County superintendent hosts media round table - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Muscogee County superintendent hosts media round table

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Fort Benning's 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) predicted more families moving into the Chattahoochee Valley, calling for the construction of several new schools in the Muscogee County School District.

Once the schools were built, the district found itself in a tight spot.

David Lewis, Muscogee County Superintendent, says, "Part of the problem is we built the schools anticipating BRAC. And we have plenty of student stations, in other words, seats. They're just not in the right place."

The situation leaves some schools packed to capacity while others are under capacity.

"As of right now, I'd have to say we have about um... I couldn't give you a definitive number, but I could tell you it's probably about close to half are under full capacity," Lewis adds.

To reduce this trend, Lewis outlines a plan to increase enrollment, primarily in the early childhood years of preschool to third grade.

He also recommends to close and consolidate schools throughout the district.

"Then, look at what's going to help save us in terms of cost and transportation, addressing the needs within a specific area or part in the community. All that's being taken into consideration. So, I don't anticipate any schools going forward immediately, but clearly we're going to have to do that going forward," Lewis explains.

This keeps in line with Lewis's plan to fill empty seats in schools, and decrease the divide between schools on both sides of Macon Road, or what administrators call the 'Macon-Dixon Line'.

Lewis adds"we're trying to address those issues and anticipate them. We're working in concert with the city."

Edgewood Elementary and Marshall Middle schools were closed at the beginning of this academic year. Muscogee and Cusetta Road Elementary schools will be next to consolidate. The two schools will move into the Dorothy height facility.

Lewis says he does not expect other closings until January 2015.

View Lewis' full plan here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/205472795/Superintendent-s-Initial-Assessment-and-Recommendations-Report

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