By Brian Knox | Wise County MessengerThe Decatur school district can expect to add around 350 students in the next five years and 677 students in the next decade.Those figures were part of a report provided to the school board Monday from Bob Templeton with Templeton Demographics.The projections are based on yearly growth percentage between 2.68 percent and 1.17 percent over the next 10 years.Looking back at the past five years, the district has grown by a little more than 100 students, with most of that growth coming this past year, Templeton said.One of the reasons for the 4.74 percent growth over last year’s number is the larger number of transfers into the district compared to the number of students transferring out of the district.
“This year we had 258 transfers into the district,” Templeton said. “The majority of those are employees’ kids who will be transferring in because of the employees. That’s a difference of 116, so that’s about 42 more than the transfer pattern from the previous year. Aside from the transfer pattern, you still had a very good growth year in enrollment, but it was really about 100 students if you take the transfer puzzle out.”At the elementary level, Templeton projected that Rann Elementary will see the most growth over the next 10 years with a projected increase of 155 students. In that same time, Carson Elementary is expected to grow by 34 students and Young Elementary by 8 students.McCarroll Middle School is expected to grow by 228 students over the next 10 years.The high school, with current enrollment of 977, is expected to add 252 students by 2026.“You really see that growth happening in 2022 when we see nearly 1,100 students, and then it gets to almost 1,200 students by 2024,” Templeton said of the high school numbers.In previous meetings, the board had discussed that the high school appeared to be reaching its capacity the soonest of all campuses. Superintendent Rod Townsend had said previously that the high school would reach capacity with enrollment around 1,100 students.In a separate report at Monday’s meeting, architects with Claycomb Associates gave a report on how the high school could be expanded to handle future growth.Kevin Smith with Claycomb explained that when the high school was originally designed, it included another set of classrooms on the back of the school. Those classrooms were eventually removed from the plan in order to bring costs down. He said the most logical expansion plan would be to add those classrooms onto the existing building.That would add classrooms to handle around another 250 students, Smith said.He estimated it would cost $2.5 to $3 million for the classroom addition.He also provided the board with a possible design for the field house expansion project currently being discussed by the board. He estimated that cost to be around $1 to $1.5 million.
No action was taken on either potential project.View original article from the Wise County Messenger.