A new middle school is coming to the southern part of Hall County.
Hall County School District Superintendent Will Schofield said the district is looking at constructing a new middle school on the Chestnut Mountain Elementary School property in Flowery Branch.
“The next need is middle and high school space in the southern part of the county,” Schofield said. “…The end game is we will be moving to a seventh high school, middle school district, and it will be in the southern part of the county.”
Specifically, the school will likely be built on land the district already owns.
“The land that Chestnut Mountain Elementary is on, that was built with two schools in mind,” Schofield said. “We’re fully believing the next move we need to make is a new school being built on that Chestnut Mountain Elementary property on Union Church Road.”
Flowery Branch High School, South Hall Middle School, Johnson High School and C.W. Davis Middle School are all over capacity, and they are the schools the district is concerned about, Schofield said.
Facilities director Matt Cox has been working on a plan for the school and how to access some state funds for the project. Schofield said the district may be eligible for between $4 million and $7 million in state funds.
A formal recommendation will go to the board later this year or in early 2016, and the district foresees the project taking two and a half years.
The new school and eventual seventh district will require some redistricting in the area, and Schofield and board chair Nath Morris said the district is already making plans to meet with the communities in the area to discuss it.
“We’ll have two and a half years to talk about redistricting, where people go and what makes the most sense,” he said. “But we do know we need some middle school space, and that appears to be the obvious place to put it.”
Schofield said while there is a need for classrooms in the southern portion of the county at the middle and high school level, overall, the district has no shortage of classrooms.
“We have a surplus of classroom space in the Hall County School District,” he said. “Most of it is at the elementary level. We had just finished Chestnut Mountain Elementary School at the time the wheels came off the economy, and we just quit growing students for a few years. It is a great place to be, at this point, that we don’t have a bunch of instructional bungalows students are going to every day.”