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HILLSBOROUGH SCALES BACK SCHOOL PLANS

Expecting a period of slower student growth, Hillsborough school officials moved forward Tuesday with a scaled-back building plan.

They eliminated several projects from the list of construction, although building plans still total $314-million. All are part of the $3-billion budget tentatively approved by the School Board.

The canceled projects include classroom wings at five campuses: Sickles, Gaither, Bloomingdale and East Bay high schools and Martinez Middle. Officials also cut four classrooms from the addition planned at Riverview High.

Hillsborough expects about 191,200 students when classes start in August, several hundred more than this year. These projections for flat enrollment follow years of choking growth that spiralled as high as 7,000 new students in one year.

Growth is expected to begin picking up again in four or five years. Eventually, Hillsborough is projected to see enrollment shoot up again, as the grandchildren of baby boomers start school.

A final public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Sept. 6. The construction plan will come to the board for final approval on Sept. 18.

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