Hampton to get new high school

The site of a new Hampton High School is barely touched, covered with pine trees and vegetation that reach back acres from the roadway.

School officials said the county's latest one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST IV) for Education will provide some revenues to be spent on the construction of a new high school in the Hampton area.

The school is slated for construction in order to relieve overcrowding at nearby schools, including Luella High School, in Locust Grove.

Henry County residents voted earlier this month, by a comfortable margin, to approve a Henry County Schools' referendum to continue the sales tax.

School officials are in the planning process for building the high school next to Hampton Middle School, located at 799 Hampton-Locust Grove Road in Hampton.

"It's necessary for the overcrowding that is present at Luella High School," said Fred Auletta, Henry County's District II Commissioner. "People have been crying out for it. I think the board of education has done the right thing in putting that as a priority."

Auletta's district currently encompasses the Dutchtown and Luella school clusters. Hampton High would create a third cluster.

Groundbreaking at Hampton High is expected to take place in the spring of 2012, following a construction-bidding process, according to Jeff Allie, Henry's assistant superintendent of finance.

Allie said the projected cost of the high school facility is about $39 million, slightly less than new high schools constructed in recent years.

The Henry County Board of Education would likely begin looking at attendance zones for the new school in December 2013, prior to its opening.

A school opening date has tentatively been set for the summer of 2014.