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It's elementary. Tega Cay leaders say they need a new school in the city

Tega Cay Elementary School?

Tega Cay city officials think it has a ring to it. They plan to require developers requesting annexation for the next large parcel to set aside about 20 acres for an elementary school, said Mayor Pro-tem Les Conner.

There "have been inquiries made" from at least one development on the horizon, he said. City and school district officials are meeting today to discuss what the school district will need.

"We've had a lot of development and a good number of annexations over the last three to five years," Conner said Tuesday. "Gold Hill Elementary has a freeze on enrollment. Folks are moving here for our public amenities and the school system, and we would like to require the next large parcel to dedicate some property to a school."

Tega Cay officials anticipate new annexations will be for mixed use projects and occur outside the city limits near Tega Cay Drive and S.C. 160.

"That's about the only direction we can go," Conner said.

One goal of today's discussion is to determine exactly how many acres the school district would need to include parking, playgrounds, fields and both family and school bus entrances and exits.

"We are going to firm that number up with them," Conner said.

Gold Hill elementary and middle schools currently are the closest to Tega Cay. Fort Mill Schools Superintendent Keith Callicutt said city officials approached him first about what a Tega Cay school site would require, and he favors the prospect.

"With our growth patterns, an elementary school in Tega Cay would be a great benefit to the school district," he said.

Land along York County's northern border is becoming increasingly expensive, Conner said.

"We need to be aware that we have a school system that has to have property with all the people coming in," Conner said. "We have to find out how to get a footprint for schools that is cost effective and can be used for both education and social aspects of the community. It's incumbent on us to do as much as we can for one of our assets, our school system."

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