2017-18 enrollment exceeds projections for new students
When the Community Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) met last spring, enrollments in the district were projected to increase an average of 70 students each year for the next five years. The actual number of new students enrolling in 2017-18 was more than double what was expected last spring. Instead of 70 additional students, enrollment rose by more than 140 — from 4,718 to above 4,860.
The CFAC — 50 community representatives including parents, senior citizens, municipal officials, district staff members and business people — studied community growth, enrollment projections and facility needs of the Hamilton School District. Because of the increase in enrollment this year, additional teachers were hired using more classroom space than had been anticipated last spring. The district is using 97 percent of available classrooms — more than predicted when CFAC met in the spring.
|Total classrooms||Classrooms used||Percentage used|
|* At Hamilton High School, 9 teachers share classrooms.|
The Community Facilities Advisory Committee reviewed many building options to address the growth and narrowed them down to two: a new intermediate school and Hamilton High School classroom renovation-expansion project. Below are conceptual drawings and information about each of the potential projects.
Intermediate school considered most economical way to handle growth in grades K-8
An intermediate school would:
- solve classroom space issues from 5K – grade 8 in the most economical manner;
- focus on needs of students in grades 5 and 6;
- offer programming currently not available to grade 5 students;
- keep students of similar maturity levels together; and
- allow earlier opportunities for students to build relationships with classmates from throughout the district.
High school renovation, expansion addresses space needs, support for academic, career readiness
In addition to providing sufficient classrooms for the foreseeable future, Hamilton High School expansion and renovation would provide rigorous academic and workforce offerings. Classrooms would accommodate courses in applied mathematics and science, career training, vocational and technical classes.
The applied engineering and technology (AET) area would be renovated and expanded, and equipment replaced.
- 32 percent of high school students take a class offered through AET – nearly 500 students each year.
- Classrooms and equipment are original to the school built in 1962.
- Area businesses are in need of skilled and quality employees in fields related to engineering, mathematics, science and technology.
- Courses have been revised and new class offerings proposed. Current facilities, equipment, technology and space will prevent some of these opportunities from becoming a reality.
Along with the facilities projects, operational costs for items such as staffing, utilities, insurance and maintenance and cleaning of a new school is being considered. Initial cost estimates for the two building projects and operational costs show a tax rate increase of $1.37 — or $137 for each $100,000 of property value. Because the tax rate trend for the district has been on a decline, the cost for the potential projects would put the district’s tax rate at the level it was in 2012-13.