A growing population in Northwest Jeffco is increasing student enrollment, and may mean new school construction.
According to the Jeffco School District’s Chief Operations Officer, Steve Bell, the influx of population and growth in the area has created a pressing need for the district to build at least one new school.
“There’s growing going on in the Northwest, or as we call it, the 93 Corridor,” he said during an Arvada Chamber of Commerce Breakfast, Friday, Aug. 15. “Today, the area is five times what it was predicted to be three years ago, and with overcrowded schools, there’s an urgent need to accommodate, with at least one, K-8 school in the corridor — at minimum.”
On Saturday, Bell will present a facilities update to the board of education, along with the proposal for a 10-acre K-8 school along 58th and Highway 93. The proposed facility would cost an estimated $25 million and would provide relief for Fairmount, Mitchell and West Woods Elementary Schools, which are either at or nearing capacity going into the 2014-2015 school year.
“Enrollment is a tricky, tricky, tricky thing,” said Board Treasurer, Jill Fellman. “In Jeffco, you can find schools that are below capacity, so do you create a new school or push boundaries? We just need to put everything on the table and look at it.”
Currently, the corridor, which extends from north Golden to Westminster along State Highway 93 and Indiana Street, serves approximately 3,420 students, in six neighborhood schools. With the increase of development in the area, the Candelas, Five Parks and West Woods communities, neighborhood schools are seeing an influx in enrollment and are on the fast track to reaching capacity.
“When you have that, you have to say are the kids there getting what they deserve, and as a board, we have to say, what can we do to make sure all kids are well-served,” Fellman said.
This item will be up for discussion at the Board of Education study session at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 23, in the board room of the Jefferson County Education Center, 1829 Denver West Drive, Golden.