Tega Cay officials are smart to anticipate the need for land for a new elementary school.
Residential growth is a certainty along York County's northern border, and more homes mean more children. The community's elementary school, Gold Hill Elementary, has a freeze on enrollment, and the school system has no way to accommodate the growth.
City officials have discussed the option of requiring the developer of the next large parcel to set aside 20 acres or so as a condition of annexation. At least one developer already has made inquiries about the proposed policy.
We think the idea makes good sense. Tega Cay has few options for growth, with new annexations limited to just outside the city limits near Tega Cay Drive and S.C. 160. A new school should be part of any new mixed-use project.
Fort Mill schools Superintendent Keith Callicutt favors the proposal, saying a new Tega Cay school would help reduce the prospect of overcrowding in the district. Callicutt also is advising Tega Cay officials on what the new school site would require.
Many municipalities, it seems, are considering school needs as part of the planning process for new development rather than as an afterthought. And developers often are willing to trade land for assurances of annexation and city services.
Certainly, Tega Cay is wise to consider needs now before the first foundation is laid rather than later, when lack of classroom space is a crisis.
Tega Cay officials are wise to arrange for land for a new elementary school as part of development.