HORRY COUNTY S.C. (WBTW) — Enrollment at Horry County Schools during this current school year has slightly surpassed pre-pandemic levels, coming in at around 45,600, and they’re budgeting for more, according to district officials.

HCS officials said more than 20% of the Horry County Schools population lives in Carolina Forest, but the district has started seeing growth in North Myrtle Beach and Conway as well.

HCS leaders said Horry County Schools typically look to hire 250 teachers every school year.

Since 2008, the district has built nine new schools and completed additions or renovations to 11 schools.

District leaders said it is because of all the growth the county is experiencing.

“Add additional classrooms, add additional teachers — custodians, bus drivers have been a struggle for us for the last serval years, making sure we accommodate the growth with the number of students who wanted transportation in the morning and in the afternoon,” said Lisa Bourcier, HCS spokesperson. “So it really affects all parts of your school system.”

Over the last ten years, the district has added more than 6,000 students to its population and that number is expected to continue to grow.

“We are the third-largest school district in the state of South Carolina, we are probably one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation,” Bourcier said. “We do have a lot of popularity in our area and do attract a lot of people from other parts and of other states to Horry County.”

HCS leaders said they’re budgeting for an additional estimated 588 students for this upcoming school year.

“We’re very transient, especially in the Myrtle Beach area, so not only do we have new students moving into our community, but sometimes we have students moving out of our community to other states and so we have to withdraw them from school,” Bourcier said. “So we do see a lot of movement throughout the year, we do register students throughout the entire school year.”

Registration for the 2022-2023 school year is now open to new and returning students.