How Lexington One Is Preparing For Massive Growth
The room was full as guest speaker Dr. Greg Little, superintendent of Lexington School District One, took the podium at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast sponsored by Palmetto Health.
Last month, Dr. Little spoke about some of the ways that the district is preparing for growth. Currently, they are focusing on developing leadership within the district and building a “leadership pipeline”. They are also concentrating on customer service and strategic planning, which allows the district to focus their priorities because according to Dr. Little, “having too many priorities is the same as having no priorities.”
This month, Dr. Little explained the challenges facing the District. By far, the number one challenge is how fast the district is growing. Currently Lexington One has 31 schools, 26,000 students, 3,700 employees and is the eighth largest school district in South Carolina. The district is growing at a rate of 500 students, or one elementary school, per year.
Dr. Little showed several slides outlining the predicted growth over the next 20-25 years. According to projections, the growth in Lexington will not only continue, but also increase. By 2040, Lexington One will have close to 50,000 students, which is nearly double the current student population. So, how do we handle a growth of that magnitude? “We have to start laying that foundation today to be prepared for that so we can continue the level of excellence that you demand as a community,” said Dr. Little.
Dr. Little outlined three strategies to deal with the growth within the next five years. First, rezone to provide relief to overcrowded schools, particularly the Meadow Glen schools. Second, build new schools outside of the bond referendum. Finally, consider a future bond referendum in 2018 to prepare for the increase in growth.
According to Dr. Little, having to deal with growth is an excellent problem to have and while it does leave the district with several challenges, Lexington One is ready to face those challenges head on.
Watch Dr. Little’s entire presentation in the video above. Our next breakfast is scheduled for March 14th.