The Barrow County School System’s third high school will offer a limited number of athletic programs when it opens at the start of the 2020-21 school year.

The school, which has been commonly referred to as Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy though a name hasn’t been formalized yet, is “considering athletic programs such as cross country, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, golf, tennis and dance,” according to a newsletter published last week. The school also anticipates offering One Act Play, E-sports and literary competition through the Georgia High School Association. Final decisions will be based on student interest, and students will indicate what athletics and extra-curricular activities they are interested in when they submit their applications for the school this fall, according to the newsletter.

The school will not be zoned for attendance but will be one of “choice.” The first phase is estimated to have a capacity of around 700 students, school officials have said. The application window is scheduled for Oct. 15 through Nov. 15.

The school does not plan to offer football, basketball or baseball/softball. School system officials have held talks with the GHSA about allowing students to play football and possibly others at the high school in their home zone, but the GHSA has been resistant to the idea, superintendent Chris McMichael has said.

Other than a small gymnasium, the school will not have its own athletic facilities and instead plans to utilize facilities around the county. That could include future multipurpose fields that will be part of Victor Lord Park when its expansion is completed next year.

Because the enrollment of the school is not yet known, it’s not yet clear what that would mean for Apalachee and Winder-Barrow high schools as well as the new school for GHSA classification purposes. The GHSA is entering its fourth and final year of the current alignment and will finalize its classification for 2020-21 and 2021-22 early next year. Apalachee and Winder-Barrow are currently in Class AAAAAA.

Those with questions about the new school are directed to email principal Dale Simpson at dale.simpson@barrow.k12.ga.us. The school also has a website at http://www.barrow.k12.ga.us/basa/.

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