The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Stafford to discuss its crowded schools
Stafford County high schools are bursting at the seams. And a new wave of students is expected in the next few years as the economy improves and developers start building homes on the thousands of lots that are now available.
Tuesday night, Stafford’s School Board will learn more details about the county population’s potential to swell in the near future—and what those additional Stafford residents could mean for the school system.
Throughout the county, 2,652 lots await residential construction.
In the past year, construction has increased dramatically. More than twice as many multifamily residences and 68 percent more single-family residences are being built than during the previous year, according to the county’s September report.
Meanwhile, two of the county’s five high schools are above capacity and two others are closing in on having more students than the buildings can accommodate.
At Colonial Forge High School, 1,969 students attend classes. But the school was designed for 1,800. And nearby developments could produce homes for 2,400 people, according to the land-use study which will be presented Tuesday night.
North Stafford is the only county high school which shouldn’t expect a surge in registered students, according to the report, which was prepared by OREd, the North Carolina-based Operations Research/Education Laboratory.
North Stafford is alone among Stafford high schools in that it could absorb 100 or more additional students.
School Board members have expressed concerns over the county’s potential for growth and the school division’s ability to accommodate new Stafford families.
In the school division’s capital improvement plans, there are no new high schools proposed through 2024. There are additions planned for three high schools in fiscal 2019.
The School Board invited the county supervisors to attend the presentation of the report, moving it to the beginning of Tuesday night’s meeting.
Staff reporter Katie Thisdell contributed to this story.
Amy Umble: 540/735-1973