Dougherty Co. schools over capacity, under 50 percent capacity

DCSS records show Magnolia Elementary is at 46 percent building capacity / Sarah Bleau

The Dougherty County School System released the capacity numbers for all of its schools: Some are over capacity and others are below 50 percent.

Numbers released by the Dougherty County school system show most schools are performing between 70 and 90 percent capacity, while some are at more than 100 percent capacity and others below 50 percent.

The records released show Lincoln Elementary Magnet, Sherwood Acres Elementary, Radium Springs Middle and Monroe High School are above 100 percent building capacity.

"What happens is when we get an overcapacity in schools it tends to start in kindergarten, we tend to get a wave going through the schools, it goes through first, second, third, fourth and fifth. we're looking for more teachers and eventually that wave disappears and we're left with a surplus of teachers in the schools," says Robert Lloyd, Director of Finances and Business Operations.

He says, therefore, they will limit kindergarten intake for the next school year at Lincoln Elementary Magnet and Sherwood Acres Elementary.

Magnolia Elementary and Dougherty International Education Middle School are below 50 percent building capacity. Magnolia Elementary also has the most portable classrooms according to the records.

"Magnolia being the one with the most portables there simply because it's due for a renovation. Kids will go from the school to the portables, when the renovations are complete back into the school," Lloyd says.

"Those schools that have a lot of portables are those schools where we have an up and coming capital program projected or renovation," says Lloyd. "All the high schools have had phase one of renovation done. Phase two has to be done. As we do phase two the children will be decanted into each of the high schools."

Also using portables are Lamar Reese Elementary, Magnolia Elementary, Morningside Elementary, Northside Elementary, Sylvester Road Elementary, Dougherty International Education Middle School and Merry Acres Middle School.

Lloyd says the portables at Merry Acres are used for the Oak Tree program, at Northside for the STAR program and at Dougherty International Education is using them for storage, he says; Lloyd says the portables at Dougherty International Education may be able to be removed.

"It is the intention of the school system to get rid of every portable in the school system," says Lloyd.

Southside Middle School has 56 percent occupancy with no portables, which Lloyd says they will look into and take their recommendation to the board soon.

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