GLEN ROCK, NJ - The Board of Education demographic study that projects an enrollment increase of 261 students by 2024-25 has spurred school administrators to consider adding classrooms to Coleman and Central elementary schools over the next three years.
On February 11, Superintendent of Schools Brett Charleston said, "No referendum would be needed. We could fund this through the cap level reserve."
The board discussion to increase classroom space came about after demographer Richard Grip, ED.D., presented an enrollment projection study through the 2024-25 school year, and discussed his methods and findings.
While the district has gained 105 students in the last 10 years, it is projected to gain more than two times that many students in half the amount of time. The current enrollment is 2,531 students, the highest in 10 years.
Answering his own question of why this is, Grip said it's simply because people migrate toward good schools.
"It's because of the quality of your schools, people want to move here," he said.
Grip said the impact of the approved 11 units of affordable housing at 261 Rock Road will probably be five children.
"It's home sales and housing turnover," he said. "That's where the kids come from."
Grip said he uses only approved projects and existing single family homes to predict the influx of students.
The news of the increase in students came last month when Charleston hinted at increasing classroom space, and then on February 11, the projection was explained.
So, what does the board intend to do now?
"The BOE will have discussions over the next several months," Charleston said in an email to TAPinto Glen Rock. "No decision has been made at this time and I do not anticipate one in the near future."
Prior to learning about the increased enrollment projection, the district approved a $14.7 million referendum in March 2019 and received a favorable bond rate last summer to fund the project, saving taxpayers unanticipated funds. On the average assessed home valued at $563,170, the referendum will cost taxpayers an additional $197 annually.
The referendum is funding new air-conditioning units in the district’s four elementary schools; a refurbished media center at Glen Rock Middle/High School; upgrades to the Central School Auditorium; and a renovated playing field at Alexander Hamilton School.