School District Five Board approves firm to study growth, redistricting district-wide
IRMO – The Lexington-Richland School District Five Board of Trustees has approved a third-party firm to study student growth and possible redistricting across the district.
Engineering and planning firm Milone and MacBroome was approved by the Board in a 5-2 vote during the Oct. 14 School Board meeting. The study by the company was prompted by a need to rezone for the planned new elementary school in Chapin, but the firm will take a look at capacity and growth across the district as part of that process. Any recommendations by Milone and MacBroome would be presented publicly to the School Board for implementation and approval.
“Redistricting, which is commonly referred to as rezoning, is a natural part of opening a new school, but we also wanted to ensure we looked at the entire district and study growth districtwide,” said Chief Planning and Administration Officer Dr. Michael Harris. “Milone and MacBroome has done these types of studies for neighboring districts, and we know they will help us plan for growth and the future of the district in the most responsible way.”
The work by Milone and MacBroome will include collaboration with district and county planners. A transportation study, to look at optimal bus routes for students, will be conducted by the district’s transportation department as the district’s administration plans for staffing and other steps needed to open the new elementary school.
“It’s typical and necessary to begin the process of preparing for a new school a year or more before it opens,” said Dr. Christina Melton, School District Five superintendent. “The contract puts us on track to plan for attendance lines but also for staffing, technology… all the pieces that are needed to help our families and district prepare. We want to be family- and student-centered in our approach, and the approval of the contract to study redistricting is a significant step forward in terms of our preparation.”
Established in 1985, Milone and MacBroome has worked with districts across the country, leading 15 enrollment and demographic studies annually and completing 21 redistricting plans that have been implemented within the past five years. As part of the study for School District Five, the firm will look at housing development as well as programming capacity, which includes the space needed to provide instruction and services to students.
“We believe in building sound, future-oriented projections and creating a redistricting plan that is sustaining,” said Mike Zuba, director of planning for Milone and MacBroome.
Work on the new elementary school is currently underway. The Board of Trustees voted 6-1 on Sept. 9 on a measure that allowed construction to commence on the elementary school on Amicks Ferry Road. The approval of the amendment to the Construction Management (CM) at Risk contract, to include an Early Site Package, came after an update by architects and designers detailing new landscaping required by a county ordinance and other minor design changes. The district’s thirteenth elementary school is slated to open August 2021.