As school started Monday, New Albany-Plain Local Schools welcomed its largest-ever enrollment.

As school started Monday, New Albany-Plain Local Schools welcomed its largest-ever enrollment.

Superintendent Steve Castle told the school board Monday night that 4,168 students -- more than expected -- started school this week.

Enrollment projections showed 4,116 students in the district this year.

"As of today, we're 52 students over enrollment projections," he said.

Official enrollment counts won't occur until October, but Castle said the projected new students are coming.

"If this year's any indicator, there's more than (the 758 students projected in the next five years) here," he said.

Despite a record number of students this year, space constraints remain a concern, with no construction expected anytime soon.

The school board approved a recommendation this week to eliminate the position of facilities construction coordinator, a position currently held by Rick Aronhalt.

"There's no construction, and because the position was called construction facilities coordinator, with the board not moving forward with new facilities, we're eliminating the position," Castle told ThisWeek.

The position could be reinstated if the board decides to put a bond issue for new facilities on the ballot in the future, Castle said, but it won't be this summer, when renovations in the 1925 Building begin.

In order to accommodate more students, the district will utilize space in the 1925 Building next year.

Castle said work could be done by the district, though.

"We will use current services in the district to work on the 1925 Building," he said.

In other district news, the school board approved the Smart Growth Coalition's report released in May.

The district, village and township each appointed three representatives to the group that completed a report of recommendations on community growth, open space and residential and commercial growth.

The board voted unanimously to approve the report.

"We are very pleased to recommend that community-of-one report," Castle said.

The board also appointed a new district arts-center coordinator.

Craig Lautenschleger, former district coordinator to the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, left the district for an elementary school principal position in River Valley, Castle said.

High school band director Darren Falk will fill Lautenschleger's role, arranging student activities at the arts center.

District officials said Falk will split his time between teaching high school band and the arts center.