MARION, SC (WBTW) – The Marion County Board of Education has voted to close one school and change another from a high school to an elementary-middle school as part of a reconfiguration plan.

High school students from Creek Bridge High School (which currently consists of grades 6 through 12) will be rezoned to Mullins High School when the Creek Bridge building is repurposed at the end of the school year. Enrollment will increase from 401 students to 545 students at Mullins High School with the change, according to the district.

Britton’s Neck Elementary School students will be moved to the Creek Bridge facility to create a K-8 science, technology, engineering and math theme-based school. The current students in grades 6 through 8 at Creek Bridge will stay at the Creek Bridge building.

The Britton’s Neck facility, built in 1954, is situated on very low land, causing problems including flooding and other infrastructure concerns, according to the district.

 The plan was based on enrollment trends among other considerations.  “When examining the data,” said Superintendent Dr. Kandace Bethea, “while the trend of declining enrollment began prior to consolidation, district enrollment has continued to decline an average of 2% per year since 2014. 

“With the current structure and high school enrollments, it is fiscally a challenge to offer all three high schools the same educational and athletic opportunities,” Bethea said.  “By combining Creek Bridge and Mullins High Schools the district closes opportunity gaps in core content courses, elective courses and extra-curricular activities such as sports and clubs.”