Included in the agenda for today's Hillsborough County School Board meeting is a $97,000 consulting contract that will help the district plan for future building use.
In other words: How to react to growth in the suburbs that has some schools bursting at the seams while in the inner city neighborhoods, some have 300 students or even less.
Last year's numbers showed Lee Elementary with 316, Dunbar Elementary with 274 and DeSoto Elementary with 242. Monroe Middle School was more than half empty with 397 students. Van Buren Middle, at 46 percent capacity, had 454.
Meanwhile, Alonso High School was over-capacity with 2,697, as was Farnell Middle with 1,365.
The district is still a few days away from releasing its 20-day enrollment numbers, which were likely delayed when school closed last week because of the hurricane. Those numbers will shed more light on what schools are gaining or losing even more students, including the growing charter school sector.
The Tindale Oliver & Associates study will look 5 to 20 years into the future, considering attendance boundaries, enrollment projections, capital needs, operational practices, class size reduction requirements, land and construction costs.
"This study will help guide and inform the fiscal and growth management decisions of the District by collecting, developing, and analyzing districtwide data related to school attendance boundaries, student enrollment projections, capital needs, operational practices, class size reduction requirements, land and construction costs, maintenance needs, school concurrency policies, current and potential funding sources, and student generation rates," says the agenda item.
The study should take eight months to complete. It's separate from the Gibson Consulting Group study on efficiency, of which a Phase II report should be available some time this month.
All of this happens as the board prepares for a 5:01 p.m. public hearing on the budget for 2016-17.