Horry County School Board rejects changes to Carolina Forest attendance lines

On Monday, the Horry County School Board met to discuss its plans to redraw attendance lines for county schools, which has been a topic of discussion for more than a year and a half.

The school board moved forward with its plans to redraw attendance lines for schools in Loris and North Myrtle Beach.

However, it wasn't so simple when it came to moving students from the Carolina Forest area.

Brad Richardson was one of three parents who acted as spokesmen for a larger group of parents and students. All of whom would be affected by the school board's most recent realignment proposal.

The new plans - also known as option four - called for realigning the Carolina Forest area, specifically the areas located west of Highway 501 from Conway to the Intracoastal Waterway. Under the plan, students who live in that area would be sent to Black Water Middle School off of Highway 90 near Conway instead of Ocean Bay Middle School in Carolina Forest.

Richardson said one of his primary concerns with the plan was the distance from his home to Black Water Middle School.

"I have one child that would remain at River Oaks Elementary and another child, under option four, that would be attending Black Water Middle School. I drove that drive, it took me 47 minutes," Richardson said.

After hearing from the parents and discussing the plan, the school board rejected that Carolina Forest realignment plan.

Instead, two new options were brought to the table.

One option is another realignment plan that school board members said would affect around 60 students in the areas north and northwest of Gardner Lacy Road in Myrtle Beach.

The other option would be to build an addition onto the already existing Ocean Bay Middle School.

Ultimately, the board chose to rescind the realignment motion.

The motion for the building addition was approved, which allows the district to move forward and determine cost estimates and possible funding sources.

Joe Defeo, Chairman of the Horry County School Board, said the board will have until January to decide what they want to do about the realignment matter.

"I have no idea where it is going to go. If the funding is there and we like the building plans then the board will vote to do an addition. If they don't, I do not know where the board is at right now.

According to Defeo, all of these matters would most likely be discussed during their December 16th meeting.