Madison County School District officials are planning additions to campuses in the Germantown Zone as the student population continues to climb.
Plans for expansion include a new school for sixth-graders in the Germantown Zone, and additional classrooms at Ann Smith Elementary and Mannsdale Upper Elementary.
The addition to Mannsdale Upper Elementary is progressing, as the county board of supervisors recently gave the go-ahead on the project.
Six additional classrooms are being added to Mannsdale Upper Elementary. The architects for the new addition recently presented their proposal for the six new classrooms to the Mannsdale-Livingston Heritage Preservation District Commission (MLHPD).
The project includes adding two classrooms to the rear of each of the three existing wings. Brick and design will be exactly the same as the existing building and the additions will fall within the footprint of the originally approved plans.
The addition will not have an effect on parking or traffic flow. The MLHPD unanimously approved the plan, as did the board of supervisors.
In 2016, Mannsdale Upper Elementary was opened to accommodate growth in the Germantown Zone. The school houses students in grades three through five and was paid for with funds set aside by the district, according to a previous Sun report.
At Ann Smith Elementary, the district has planned an additional 12 classrooms to be built.
A separate school in a different location is in the works for sixth-grade students at Germantown Middle.
In the sixth grade alone, enrollment is expected to increase in the next few years by more than 100 students. This year, there are 340 students enrolled in sixth grade at Germantown Middle.
By 2024-25, enrollment is projected to jump to 407. In a school that is already reaching capacity and using portable buildings for classrooms, a new campus is planned to accommodate the rising enrollment numbers each year.
Superintendent Charlotte Seals expects the district to start pushing dirt in late spring/early fall of 2020 and complete work by 2021.
Existing funds are in place to cover the project, Seals has said.
The new school will house the sixth-grade students at a separate location near Germantown Middle. Until the project is complete, the district will continue to be creative with its existing facilities.
“We have portable classrooms we are using,” Seals said. “And teachers float while other teachers are on planning time.”
“We still have some more land in that area, so we are looking at building near the middle school, but not connected to it,” Seals said.
Other past additions to the Germantown Zone were the result of a $61 million bond issue, which allowed the district to build Germantown High School and accompanying athletic complex. Remaining funds were used for other additions and improvements district wide.
The high school, which opened in 2011, took in approximately 600 students who would have otherwise attended Rosa Scott School or Madison Central High School, according to a previous Sun report.
Germantown High School currently enrolls approximately 1,200 students in grades ninth through 12th.
The district will continue to work with a demographer to study growth patterns district-wide in order to anticipate need for other additions.
“Our next phase will be looking at what we want to do at the high school level,” Seals said.