NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - 1,000 extra students funneling into the New Hanover County School system in the next 9 years. Those are estimates from the NC Department of Public Instruction, but considering that actual enrollment has been significantly higher than the state's projections for the last 5 years in a row, 1,000 may be a conservative estimate of what we can expect here.
The projections have NHCS administrators scrambling to figure out where to put all those kids in our already overcrowded public school system. Even with 14 different bond projects already in the works to build new schools and expand existing ones, there's not going to be enough room.
"In terms of student population, we are growing faster now than we were 8-10 years ago. The reason that is I think that we had a number of student that were moving out of New Hanover county perhaps to Brunswick and the newer developments, and that was helping to balance out the students moving in. Now today we don't see the out migration happening like that," explained NHCS Director of Facility Planning Eddie Anderson.
Coming up Monday in a special report at 6, we'll take a look at a new state mandate on classroom size that's made our capacity problems even worse. We'll also look at a few new schools already being planned, and the future bond request that will likely be necessary to pay for the new schools.