Jan 18, 2022

Pickerington Schools Are Growing — Latest Enrollment Projections

TGMS enrollment projection graph

Based on the latest projections from the consulting firm Cooperative Strategies, the Pickerington Schools are growing.

And, the space needed to educate our students is rapidly dwindling.

The Pickerington School Board of Education discussed the latest enrollment projections for the Pickerington Schools at its January 10, 2022 meeting.

Ryan Jenkins, Treasurer/CFO for the District, led the Board Members through (1) a presentation and discussion that highlighted the capacities at each school, and (2) an analysis of the anticipated enrollment growth in each building between now and the end of the 2029-2030 school year.

“We are trying to take the enrollment study that was completed by Cooperative Strategies within the last couple of weeks and provide our community an understanding of just how full we are getting in our buildings,” Jenkins said.

The reports provided by Cooperative Strategies analyzed the projected enrollments in 3 ways:

  1. Based on the students attending that school during the 2021-2022 school year
  2. Based on the students living within that school’s boundaries during the 2021-2022 school year; and
  3. Using a student growth potential model that develops all developable land within the District’s boundaries

The presentation focused on the capacities at each of the District’s 14 school buildings, along with  the corresponding enrollments expected at each building starting with the current school year and projecting about 10 years into the future.

Based on the analysis, the District has created a grid that shows just how full our buildings are getting. There are currently 2 buildings that are beyond programming capacity (Toll Gate ES and Pickerington Central HS), along with 4 more buildings (Ridgeview JH, Toll Gate MS, Sycamore Creek ES and Tussing ES) that are more than 90% full.

By the 2025-2026 school year, those numbers increase to 7 buildings above programming capacity (Pickerington Central HS, Diley MS, Toll Gate MS, Toll Gate ES, Tussing ES, Sycamore Creek ES and Violet ES), with another 3 buildings (Lakeview JH, Ridgeview JH and Fairfield ES) more than 90% full.

Dr. Briggs, District Superintendent, noted, “If you look at the continued (housing) development that is going on in our District, these numbers are very real. These numbers are at a point where we are impacting programming.”

Board Member Cathy Olshefski also stated, “It’s important for our community to understand that there is a 3 year lag between the passage of a bond issue and a building opening. Looking at the 2021-2022 school year, we already have buildings that are full…so even if a bond issue passes (in 2022), it won’t be until the 2024-2025 school year (that a new building opens), which is already an even fuller school year.”

Noting that the District had proposed previous bond issues to the community within the last couple of years, Board President Vanessa Niekamp and Cathy Olshefski asked if the District was considering changes to the facility plan moving forward. Dr. Briggs noted that the District is taking a hard look at its facilities plans to come up with the right options for meeting its needs.

Beginning with the January 24, 2022 board meeting, the District will now begin to promote both the short-term and long-term components of its plan to address its building and facility needs.  While these plans are evolving, the District has already identified some short-term options that it will begin to vet and analyze at the January 24 meeting. Community members are strongly encouraged to either attend this meeting, or to stay informed by tuning into the PLSD Communications YouTube channel at 5:00 p.m. on January 24, 2022.