Big Walnut sees faster growth


By Lenny C. Lepola - For The Gazette



Enrollment in Big Walnut Schools may grow faster than was estimated just a few weeks ago.

Residential and commercial growth is driving the district’s student population growth. During a July board of education meeting, Superintendent Angie Pollock revealed early numbers from a 10-year enrollment study being assembled by Tracey Healey of FutureThink.

Healey had completed a 10-year enrollment study for the district in 2007 with low, medium and high projections. Because the district had already exceeded the high projection numbers in the 2007 study, Pollock and district administrators decided to approve a new study with student population growth projections through 2025.

Pollock said in July that a draft version of Healey’s 2015 enrollment study — with incomplete residential growth numbers — indicates Big Walnut’s student population would grow 51 percent over the next decade.

“Now we’re thinking that 51 percent number might be higher,” Pollock told school board members during last week’s board meeting.

Pollock said members of the school district’s economic development committee would hold a meeting earlier this week; and members of Big Walnut area political subdivisions were each invited to send a representative to the meeting. Also invited to the meeting would be other stakeholders impacted by growth.

“We want to make sure we’re all on the same page as growth happens,” Pollock said. “Our goal will be to look at current facilities and needs for the next decade as development comes.”

In other business, Pollock said the district’s annual State of the Schools meeting at Big Walnut Middle School, this year on Nov. 5, is being revamped and made more interactive.

Board members also discussed the possibility of moving their monthly meeting to the third Thursday of every month. Because board meetings are set during the annual reorganization meeting, typically held the first week in January, any standing meeting date change would begin in 2016.

By Lenny C. Lepola

For The Gazette

Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093. Email: newsguy@ee.net.

Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093. Email: newsguy@ee.net.