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Madison City Schools releases new zoning map for future neighborhoods

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MADISON, Ala. - Elementary schools in Madison City Schools' district are at 95 percent capacity. District leaders have a new plan for a way to accommodate the growth. Recently, district leaders released a new zoning map for future neighbors.

"If you live in Madison, rezoning is a part of death and taxes," Superintendent Dee Fowler said.

He said rezoning is nothing new for Madison City Schools. It's happened seven times since the district was established in 1998.

"We've got to keep moving as demographics change and demographics shift, then we've got to stay on top of that," Fowler said.

Fowler said the new zoning plan won't affect current students, but will have an impact down the road if the plan stays this way.

"Our new rezoning are areas that houses have not been built or occupied at this time," Fowler said.

"Under these new zoning plans, the homes built the north of Powell Road is zoned for Rainbow Elementary and undeveloped residential property south of Powell Road is zoned for West Madison Elementary. Rainbow and West Madison are at 79 and 89 percent capacity, compared to 95 percent or higher for the other elementary schools.

"Luckily we do have two schools that have some room," Fowler said.

Fowler said driving a further distance to a school a student is zoned for is nothing new to the district.

"All of our zone lines for our elementary schools are not contiguous," Fowler said. "We have parts of Heritage Elementary School over on Highway 20. We have parts of Mill Creek on the eastern part of our city. We have other parts that aren't contiguous to their school district and we do that to try and equalize our schools."

When the district rezones, they make decisions based on setting each school up for success.

"We firmly believe that Madison City Schools will continue to be a strong, vibrant school district as long as it doesn't matter where you go to school in Madison," Fowler said.

Fowler said a committee will being looking at needs, rezoning and space for how the district will rezone for the following school year. Those meetings will being this fall.

As for building a new elementary, Fowler said the district does not have that revenue stream at this time.