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Five-year facilities plan includes third high school
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Effingham County Board of Education members have approved a five-year facilities plan that included building a new high school to support the projected population growth in the county.

An outside team analyzed Effingham’s school buildings and projected growth to help the BOE determine which types of additions to put in their five-year plan required by the state in order to receiving state funding for those projects.

Elementary schools were found to be 33 instructional units over what their student bodies required and middle schools were 5 over. With the general population expected to grow, the five-year plan included a facility that would house kindergarten through eighth grade.

However, the high schools were found to be in 26 instructional unit deficit, with their populations on the way toward the 2,000 student-cap the board agreed to previously. While they expect the Effingham Career Academy to alleviate some of the overflow, the board included a new high school in its plan.

These facilities are not expected to be needed or under construction until 2013 or 2014, the tail end of the five-year facilities plan approved at the April 7 board meeting.

“We could use local funds for these projects, but you hate leave state funds on the table,” Superintendent Randy Shearouse said. “If it’s not in the plan, then we don’t earn funding for it.”