JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Onslow County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.

Now, the Board of Education is discussing redistricting some of their schools. Dixon High School is already overpopulated, but neighboring schools like Southwest Onslow have desks available for students to move in for the 2024-2025 school year.

“Dixon High School’s population has grown steadily and has exceeded the building capacity,” said Dr. Brendan Gartner, chief of operations for Onslow County Schools in Tuesday’s meeting. “Dixon High School now sits at approximately 130% of its capacity, while the relatively nearby Southwest is at about 70%.”

At the April meeting, the board was given preliminary maps, which they believe will change as the process continues. Those maps will not be published until they are finalized. In May, the board will approve or make amendments to the maps, and two town halls will be held to hear from those at Dixon High School.

“I just hope that they are open with parents and say, these are all the possibilities,” said one parent of Dixon High School students, Tricia Ross. “These are where the lines are. This is what we hope to do, and just clearly communicate to us so we can be advocates for our children.”

Ross said that Southwest Onslow is actually much closer to where she lives, so she could see the benefits of the change. She also said she feels for the children who have moved around a lot already and the upperclassmen. 

“I really hope that they do consider letting seniors stay where they are,” said Ross. “Many of these kids, especially the ones that will be coming along, you know, they’ve had hurricanes, they’ve had COVID, like they want to stay with their friends in their schools.”

With the growth, they’re looking at what’s next to come. 

“We’re going to be talking about a lot of construction that’s going to have to happen very soon, particularly in the Dixon, Holly Ridge, Southwest area. That’s the place that is growing the fastest,” Gartner in the meeting.

The discussion on redistricting schools is still in the early stages. The final options for the 2024-2025 school year will be approved in the June meeting.

Click here to watch Tuesday’s full Board of Education meeting.