Thursday, May 24, 2012

QUESTION: Does Barringer Road Have the Capacity to Handle the Combined K-4 Enrollment of Ilion?

Does Barringer Road Elementary School have the capacity to handle the K-4 student population of Ilion now and in the future?

The short answer is that Barringer Road should be able to handle the current enrollment, as well as the future enrollment, of the district. In the study the CONSERVATIVE capacity of Barringer Elementary was estimated at 584 students. In reality the actual capacity is about 10% higher than that according to the Study Team. That would mean a true assessment of the capacity of the building is about 642 students.

This "lowering" of the capacity level by 10% as part of the study document is done as a way to provide the most conservative estimate possible. That way districts can have some leeway in their planning - which is exactly what has occurred here. So in reality the building at Barringer Road can handle about 10% more than the 584 capacity cited in the study, which translates into around 640 kids.

So is this true capacity of Barringer a problem? Current enrollment for the next year for K-4 in Ilion is 594 pupils. Projection models vary widely in terms of how many students will be in Ilion in 5 years (2016-2017). It could be as low as 504 pupils, and possibly as high as 632. In both cases these numbers are still under the maximum capacity of the building.

There is another factor which can be brought to bear on any potential crowding in the elementary school in Ilion in a merger as well. Some parents who border on the current district with Mohawk could be given the option of sending their children to Fisher Elementary School. In some cases parents might do so because it is actually closer and represents less travel time for their young children. They also may way to take advantage of the program at Fisher. At any rate, some parents may chose to actually have their children attend the elementary program in Mohawk instead of going to Ilion's Barringer Road.

Our understanding is that NO ONE would be forced to change schools. This would be a voluntary move on the part of parents and something that they would be given a chance to contemplate.

Lastly, and just as a matter of consideration, the Ilion School District has been discussing the possibility closing Remington Elementary School for some time now. Regardless of whether or not a merger occurs, Remington School has been considered for closure. So it seems reasonable to conclude that Barringer Road, as an facility, may well be the only elementary school in Ilion at some point in the not-so-distant future regardless of a where or not a merger takes place. In the event that a merger does occur, then the options noted above become possible. In the case that a merger does not happen, then the district may be looking to shuffle building configurations within Ilion to something different than they are now.

So hopefully this provides some insight into what the true capacity is of Barringer Road.

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