Byrd Adult Learning Center to be repurposed as elementary school, school leaders continue to battle overcrowded classrooms

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County school leaders are working to accommodate students in the classroom.

Monday is the first of six town hall meetings for parents to learn how school leaders plan to combat the overcrowding issues.

However, the district has already taken the steps to shift students in one area.

Converting the Byrd Adult Learning Center into an elementary school is one of the ways the Board of Education plans to overcome those crowded classrooms in the district.

By August 2019 the school will serve more than 400 students.

There’s plenty of room to run around on the playground, but beyond the walls at Byrd Elementary, the student population is pushing the limit of space in the classroom.

To alleviate the tight spaces four portables were added to the elementary school campus, but the district is anticipating more growth in this area.

“Every school in Area 3, which is the Midland Valley area, every elementary school is at or over capacity.” Aiken County Board of Education Chief Officer of Administration King Laurence said.

The budget can’t fund the construction of new schools, so leaders are thinking outside the box to make space for more students.

“This school is going to be a gem of an elementary school. It already has the infrastructure that it needs obviously it used to be an elementary school,” said Director of Adult Education Pat Keating.

Laurence says converting the former elementary school to its original use, was just one of the recommendations made to school leaders.

A consulting company presented the school with a laundry list of changes that will combat the crowded classroom.

Which he plans to present to parents over the course of the next few weeks.

To read more of the recommendations click here. 

Still, he says replacing the roof and floor of this building is a lot cheaper, than building a completely new school and alleviated the over-capacity Byrd Elementary.

“With the addition of the new elementary school and a couple of other shifts in the boundaries, we will take the pressure off of there.” Laurence told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Leavelle McCampbell Middle School.

If you aren’t able to attend you can still send in your suggestions, through the Aiken County Board of Education’s website.

Click here to send in your suggestions. 

Town Hall Meeting Schedule: 

  • November 6: Leavelle McCampbell Middle 6:30 p.m.
  • November 7: South Aiken High 6:30 p.m.
  • November 16: Aiken High 6:30 p.m.
  • November 30: North Augusta High following One Cent Community Update Meeting 6:30 p.m.
  • December 4: Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle High 6:30 p.m.
  • December 5: Silver Bluff High School 6:30 p.m.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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