Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A recent report to the Rochester School Board is expected to be a key reference document for the facilities committee that is being formed to develop recommendations for addressing the short and long-term space needs of the local public school system.

The 5-Year Enrollment Projection Report is updated annually to provide the Rochester School Board and the administration guidance in hiring teachers and developing plans for addressing the steadily growing number of students attending class in the Rochester School District. The committee that crunches the numbers notes there is no “hidden formula” for calculating the impact of the Destination Medical Center initiative and considers the estimates to be on the conservative side.

Overall, the report predicts enrollment will grow just under 4.5-percent by the fall of 2022. That would boost the current enrollment of just under 18,000 by almost 800 students over the next five years.

A closer look indicates a surge of students is now making its way through the elementary and middle schools. Enrollment in the school district’s elementary schools is projected to grow by only about 75 students before peaking in the fall of 2021, and then dropping back to the current level the following year. A similar pattern is projected at the middle schools, where enrollment is forecast to peak in the 2021 school year about 135 students above the current enrollment before dropping by about 35 students in 2022.

That puts the long-term pressure at the high school level, which is forecast to see enrollment jump by nearly 300 students in the fall of 2019. Five years out, enrollment at the high school level is projected to rise above 6100, or by almost 700 students.

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