Pickens County school superintendent Dr. Henry Hunt was there to answer any questions.
One parent was concerned about the problems splitting the student population into two schools may cause.
One school, he said, generally becomes the “haves” while the other school becomes the “have-nots.”
Hunt said that he really did not foresee any problems arising from the situation, pointing out that of the four high school districts, Liberty is the only one currently with just one elementary school feeding into it.
Another parent said once Chastain Road Elementary is built, she will be taking her youngest child to that school, then taking her oldest to Liberty Middle School. She was concerned about the distance between the two schools.
Hunt said she may want to check into applying for school choice in that situation. Hunt said that because Liberty Elementary and Chastain Road Elementary are likely to have 500 students each, and each facility’s capacity would be around 650, school officials would likely be able to be flexible with school choice, at least for the next several years.
Another parent asked if the school district has taken into consideration the projected population growth near the Pickens County Commerce Park as they set attendance zones for the two elementary schools. His concern was that the population would mushroom in that area, forcing district lines to be redrawn and disrupting the students once again.
Hunt said that nobody actually knows how quickly the population will grow in any one area. “That’s why they call them ‘projections,’” Hunt said.
He noted that there were concerns when Clemson Elementary was built in 2002 that the community would quickly outgrow the school.
“It’s 2009 now,” Hunt said. “There has been growth in the area, but it hasn’t mushroomed there.”
Hunt said that all of the schools being built as part of the current facilities plan are designed with an eye toward allowing additions to be constructed when needed.
He also said that the building of Chastain Elementary will allow the district to remove all portables from Liberty Elementary.