New Elementary School
Following this week's property closing, we are excited to share the location of the future Social Circle Elementary School. The Social Circle City Schools (SCCS) Board of Education and the City of Social Circle finalized the agreement resulting in multiple pieces of property being exchanged between these governmental entities. The board anticipates an August 2025 open date for a Kindergarten through 6th-grade school that will serve approximately 950 students. The school will be located on a combined 59-acre tract of land north of the Social Circle Parkway between Cannon Drive and Thurman Baccus Road. The property will also allow for the future expansion of additional educational facilities as our community continues to grow.
There are numerous benefits to the local governing entities working together. The agreement allowed longstanding title issues between the city and the school system to finally be resolved, resulting in improved relationships and sound financial stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The school system will have continued use of the current Social Circle Elementary School (SCES) until the new school is built. The school system will also have access to the existing transportation facilities and gym until replacement facilities are built. The agreement allows the school system to continue to utilize Social Circle Primary School (SCPS) buildings until 2045, if necessary. Currently, the school system plans to utilize the primary school campus for an early learning center where Pre-kindergarten classes will be held.
Although not required by the State Board of Education, an appraisal was conducted to evaluate all of the considered properties. The properties that the school district traded were SCPS, Stephen’s Park, Malcom Road, and 24% of the SCES property (24% was the total property owned by the school system). Their value totaled $3,955,000. Comparatively, the 59-acre tract on the Parkway that the city traded appraised at $2,673,000. (It is worth noting that the school board purchased the Malcom Road property for $1M; therefore, $800,000 is not a “loss”.) Despite the appraisals, the district will not experience a loss on our financial statements. While the difference of $1,282,000 seems to favor the city, it is obvious the actual beneficiaries are the city residents, and most importantly, the students. We look forward to the many ways that the City Council and the Mayor will choose to utilize the facilities for the good of our community.
Due to our assets being more than 50 years old, and fully depreciated over their useful life, the district will not recognize a loss on this transfer.
In order to begin the funding and building process, as required by the Georgia Department of Education, the school system submitted documentation, including, but not limited to, the location, a survey, a letter of assurance from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, a Phase I - Environmental Site Assessment, a Risk Hazard Assessment, and a request to Georgia Department of Transportation. Unfortunately, the school board could not legally solicit input and/or discussion from our constituents during this process. Still, we look forward to updating everyone frequently throughout the construction of the new elementary school. The Parkway site will require significant expense in order to prepare the roadway to maximize safety and facilitate efficient arrival and dismissal. However, these expenses will only be required one time as we plan to build another educational facility at this site as soon as we are financially able to do so.
We are equally as excited as our families, students, staff, and community members about our bright future in the Social Circle City Schools.