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West Fargo sets school enrollment projections deadline

A group trying to determine the West Fargo School District's building needs will have updated enrollment projections for each school by Dec. 20, a consultant said Tuesday.

A group trying to determine the West Fargo School District's building needs will have updated enrollment projections for each school by Dec. 20, a consultant said Tuesday.

Robert Schwarz, principal planner for Kansas-based RSP and Associates, said he expects to have numbers with a 90 percent level of confidence.

Those projections will be crucial to any recommendations from the district's Long Range Facility Planning Task Force for building plans that could go to voters.

Voters have rejected the past two referendums, the most recent in March. That vote sought $30 million for a high school and $10 million for an elementary school. A $65 million bond request was rejected in June 2009.

Schwarz told the task force he was impressed by the "immense" amount of growth in the metro area in the past 10 years, particularly on the south side.

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With Fargo planners telling West Fargo school officials that Fargo could have most of its developments filled in 10 years, Schwarz said "it's going to push the development" to West Fargo.

A major factor in that will be whether a Red River diversion is built to protect land in the metro that could be threatened by flooding, he said.

In addition to Schwarz's presentation, the task force completed a study of the buildings owned by the school district. The 37-member group then developed preliminary recommendations for class sizes and schools sizes.

The group determined that the median sizes were: 20 for kindergarten and grade 1; 22 for grades 2 and 3; 23 for grades 4 and 5; and 24 for grades 6-12.

They also agreed elementary schools should have four classrooms for each grade, middle schools should have 750-1,150 students, and high schools 1,000 to 1,350 students.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Related Topics: EDUCATIONWEST FARGO
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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