ZCS leaders talk expansion to meet growing enrollment

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By Desiree Williams

Zionsville Community Schools could redistrict and expand by 2022 to meet growing enrollment, particularly in the elementary schools, according to the recommendation of Supt. Scott Robison at the January 2019 school board meeting.

Union Elementary and Boone Meadow Elementary will soon soar beyond capacity.

According to the Indiana Business Research Center’s enrollment projections presented at the July 2018 school board meeting, the ZCS district accounts for more than 70 percent of Boone County’s total population growth in the last decade. Matt Kinghorn, senior demographic analyst at the IBRC, estimated an increased enrollment of 2,200 students during the next 10 years due to construction of multiple housing developments.

Robison recommended construction of a sixth elementary school at the district-owned 875 campus property. Although ZCS has not redistricted in 11 years, Robison said a single redistricting effort that coincides with the opening of the elementary school in 2022 could rebalance attendance rates until 2028.

It’s projected the high school will reach capacity during the 2024-25 school year, so Robison also discussed an expansion or possible construction of a second high school. Using the IBRC data, Robison said the size of the district, the funding needed and the timing do not seem to require a second high school now. Instead, an expansion could regulate capacity, and the consideration of an additional high school could wait until 2026-27.

There will be a more detailed presentation during the February board meeting to discuss cost, tax impact, process and timeline.

The board also conducted its annual reorganization, joined by new members Michael Berg and Michael Coussens. Joe Stein was elected president, Debbie Ungar as vice president and Jane Burgess as secretary. All members will donate their annual stipends to the Zionsville Education Foundation.

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