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School Board approves enrollment report

February 16, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

A new enrollment report that takes into account the projected number of new students per new house will be used to plan future capital improvement projects, education officials said Tuesday.

The Washington County Board of Education voted 6-0 on Tuesday night to approve a six-year enrollment and facilities report produced by consultant Deanna Newman, president of Public Pathways Inc.

Board member Russell F. Williams was absent.

That means school system officials will use this new report instead of the Tischler report when developing enrollment forecasts that affect capital improvement projects, Chief Operating Officer William Blum said after the board meeting.

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The 1998 Tischler report was developed by a Washington County Commissioners consultant, Blum said. That report projected the average house, including existing and new housing, would yield .42 students, he said.

The new report projects 1.06 students per new house, Blum said.

The new houses are what school system officials worry about in projecting enrollment, plus the new report is more current, he said.

Newman's report projects roughly 500 to 600 new students per year for the next five years, Blum said.

This would put the school system on track to do two major building projects a year instead of one every three years, Blum said. A major building project could be a new school, an addition or a renovation, he said.

Next school year, the school system will begin engineering and planning for an addition and renovation to Pangborn Elementary School and for the new Westfields elementary school, Blum said.

There might be years when the school system starts only one major building project a year instead of two, Blum said after the meeting.

The enrollment projection will need to be updated every year, Blum said.

The six-year enrollment and facilities report will be presented again at a Facilities and Enrollment Committee meeting at 7 p.m. on March 3 in the school board auditorium.

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