What’s Next for Facility Planning?
It’s that time of year where the excitement of starting a new school year takes priority. We are looking forward to a great start and having students return to school. We understand there are a lot of questions about “what’s next” following the unsuccessful bond election on Aug. 9.
Our primary focus is to identify short-term adjustments that are needed to ease congestion and overcrowding in nine schools which are now at 95% capacity or more. East Ridge High School is now 350 students over capacity (121%) and Pine Hill Elementary is one year ahead of forecasts for over capacity limits by 27 students (105%). With 18,651 K-12 students enrolled and four schools now overcapacity, we will need to explore boundary adjustments for implementation in the fall of 2023.
In the coming weeks and months, the long-range facility steering committee will regroup and gather additional feedback from staff, families, city officials and district residents. The input gathered will be considered for revisions to the current 10-year facility plan as feasible. The ultimate goal for additional feedback is to determine a tax threshold for our community and to ensure that every student has a seat in SoWashCo Schools.
At this time, a new bond election will not occur in February 2023. We will continue to provide updates related to the continued needs and growth within our district.