Dublin Villager

District's student population growth not limited to K-4

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Seven of Dublin's elementary schools will be over capacity in 2016, but growth in the district isn't limited to the K-4 level.

The Dublin Board of Education last week heard enrollment projections for 2016 and problems that might come to elementary, middle and high schools in the district through growth.

At the elementary level, schools on the south and east side of the district are seeing the most growth.

By 2016, Chapman, Glacier Ridge, Indian Run, Olde Sawmill, Riverside, Thomas and Wright elementary schools will be areas of concern for the district.

"Riverside is already over capacity," said Annette Morud, district director of business affairs told board members.

While most growth has come to the district through apartments and condominiums, a steady growth of about 100 homes per year has also been occurring on Dublin's northwest side, said District Planner Joe Riedel.

At the middle school level, growth is also limited to the east and south sides of the district, said Ralph Feasel, district planner.

"Davis will be a concern for us at the middle school level," he said.

At Davis Middle School, where the building capacity is 900, enrollment was 906 on Jan. 13 and it's expected to grow to 996 by 2016.

Other middle schools in Dublin will remain under capacity.

Sells Middle school is expected to see the second largest growth from 993 in January to 969 in 2016.

At the high school level, however, growth will shift over the next few years.

Jerome High School had an enrollment of 1,409 last month and the district is anticipating an enrollment increase of 125 students to 1,536 by 2016.

The building capacity at Jerome High School is 1,300.

Feasel said student growth on the east and south sides of the district won't hit high school by 2016, but the growth seen in the northwest area of the district will.

"Students in the foodchain haven't gotten to Scioto yet," he said. "Four or five years out we'll start seeing that."

"They're coming up, but not in the next one or two years," Riedel agreed. "Jerome is adding 100 homes a year."

Scioto High School, with a building capacity of 1,300, had 1,202 students enrolled last month and projections show a 32-student increase by 2016.

The district has increased school capacity at several buildings in past years.

Both Davis and Karrer Middle schools got four more classrooms 2010.

Coffman also received an expansion of six classrooms in 2010.

In 2011, Thomas, Wright and Wyandot elementary schools also received four additional classrooms each.

Despite the new classrooms added in the past few years, the district will need a solution for overcrowding expected over the next three years and beyond.

"These problems are coming at different times," Riedel said.

"Some will come in two or three years, some are out five to eight years."

The district must also keep abreast of new development, especially apartments.

In the past year, two apartment complexes have opened in the school district, adding to the 5 percent increase in student population from apartments and condominiums seen over the past five years.

Morud said the district is keeping an eye out for possible residential development on the Riviera Golf Club land.

"My worst fear has always been Don Scott field," Riedel said of continued rumors that the OSU airfield will be sold for residential development.

Staff will bring both long- and short-term solutions for rising enrollment to the board of education in March.

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