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Education
Below the overview of the district are links to KBIA's coverage of Columbia 93 district schools, updated as more stories are published. Columbia 93 at a glanceThe Columbia 93 school district currently includes 32 different schools. In 2014, the district had a k-12 enrollment of 17,204 students, which is 2% of the total k-12 enrollment for the state. Enrollment has been slightly increasing in recent years, 2% since 2011. While a small percent, that amounts to almost 400 more students. There have also been major re-drawing of attendance areas with the addition of Battle High School. Middle school attendance areas shape high school boundaries 00000178-cc7d-da8b-a77d-ec7d2f9e0000The changes have affected all schools in the district, including causing high school attendance to increase and overcrowding at one middle school at least.

Plan for New Cedar Ridge Elementary Moves Forward

The Columbia Board of Education is pushing forward a plan for a new school on the east side of town.

The board approved the 26 acre land purchase agreement for the new Cedar Ridge Elementary School at its meeting on Monday.

Board members say the current school is too small and is at full capacity of a little over 200 students.

Vice President of the Columbia Board of Education, Jonathan Sessions, says that the new location near the Vineyards Subdivision off of Highway WW will be able to hold 400 to 600 students.

This location will allow students in the nearby subdivision to walk to school and it will better serve the growing area on the East side of town.

The new elementary school will also contribute to the board’s other goals.

“Our goal is by 2020 we want to get rid of trailers in Columbia public schools. We’re planning as of right now to re-purpose Cedar Ridge once we build the new elementary school. What it is going to be repurposed to be used for we don’t know that yet,” board member Christine King said.

The current location of Cedar Ridge Elementary School uses trailers to accommodate the growing population in the area, but it is only a temporary solution.

“We jokingly call Cedar Ridge, ‘Camp Cedar Ridge,’ because over half of the building’s population is actually in trailers back behind the school,” said Sessions.

The building plans for the new elementary school will be released sometime in 2016.

Board member Christine King also says that the school should be completed and open in 2018.

The board members expressed hopes that it will be open for summer school that year.