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Henry County Schools Holds Topping Out Ceremony for New Elementary School to Open August 2024

HENRY COUNTY, GA – Henry County Board of Education and Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis welcomed community and school leaders on Tuesday to the construction site of Birch Creek Elementary School to sign a beam that will be part of the county’s 53rd school.

“We are excited to celebrate the tremendous progress that has been made on this community-supported E-SPLOST VI project,” said Board Chair Annette Edwards (Dist. 2). “We know that our schools serve as a home away from home for our students and staff, and we can’t wait for Henry County families to begin calling Birch Creek Elementary home in August 2024.”

The topping out ceremony at 850 Willow Lane in McDonough was held during the same week that the district began information sessions and community forums at Oakland, Wesley Lakes, and Bethlehem elementary schools to prepare for the process of determining revised attendance zones that will guide the new school’s opening next fall.

Birch Creek Elementary is the district’s first new school opening prompting new attendance zones in over a decade.

“Birch Creek Elementary will serve as the anchor for revised attendance zones in one of the county’s fastest growing areas, where we currently have two schools in Oakland Elementary and Wesley Lakes Elementary that are over 100% capacity,” said Superintendent Davis. “The opening of Birch Creek will be another key milestone in fulfilling our mission to provide opportunities, access, and outcomes for all Henry County students.”

The path toward opening Birch Creek Elementary began in October 2020, when the Board of Education participated in a student growth study that guided the selection of projects for Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) VI. The E-SPLOST VI referendum was passed by 68% of Henry County voters in March 2021 and included plans for what is now known as Birch Creek Elementary.

The board unanimously approved the bid for construction of the new school in August 2022 and has since received regular updates as part of the monthly Construction and E-SPLOST Report at its study sessions.

Substantial completion of construction is expected by May 2024 to allow for students to attend at the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

At the upcoming Board of Education meeting on Nov. 11, proposed attendance zones and the recommendation to hire a principal for Birch Creek Elementary are expected to be on the agenda.

Following a 30-day public review period, attendance zones could be approved at the December board meeting, which would be followed closely by official notification to families of students who will be zoned for a different school.

View Photo Album from event here.

About Henry County Schools

Henry County Schools (HCS) is the eighth-largest school district in Georgia, consisting of 52 schools, including two academies, located about 20 minutes south of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Over the past 20 years, our community has grown in population from 113,000 residents to over 244,000 residents. Since 1999, student enrollment has grown from 21,000 students to 43,000 students, and our number of employees has grown from 3,000 to 6,000.

HCS is “In Pursuit of Exceptional,” taking action to advance opportunities, access, and outcomes so that every student in our school district has Exceptional Support, Exceptional Access, and an Exceptional Future. In 2020, our Board of Education adopted our 2021-2026 Community-Inspired Strategic Plan and laid out a clear vision and mission for Henry County Schools. Our vision is to ensure a high-quality, world-class education for every student, and our mission is to empower all students with exceptional opportunities and access that lead to success in a global society.