Sulphur Springs projects growth starting next year

Sulphur Springs Union School District officials were told after years of slight declines, starting next fall, they could see enrollment increase for years to come.

During the presentation given at their Wednesday night board meeting, the district’s demographer, Davis Demographics, told board members that, due to a number of new developments either coming or being completed in the area over the next few years, the school district is projected to see a 21% increase in enrollment, or approximately 1,100 students, over the next seven years.

“They’re going to be growing mostly because of the developments,” said David Kaitz of Davis Demographics, who led the board presentation in the Valley View Elementary multipurpose room. “In 2008, things came to a screeching halt … so it took a good number of years before the housing market started picking up again.”

That uptick has led to an upswing in enrollment due to the anticipated rise in new housing sales that has already begun, and will continue to grow, according to Kaitz. The study shows the most potential growth will be in the Sulphur Springs, Pinetree and Leona Cox community schools’ individual areas.

“We show growth beginning as soon as next year,”  said Kaitz, based on the projection models his firm had used to generate the SSUSD demographics report.

The administrators and board members expressed they were flat in terms of their current enrollment numbers, but with the help of newly, or soon-to-be completed housing developments — assuming the various housing projects are not delayed or discontinued — that should change in the near future.

“We’re looking forward to having new families join our Sulphur Springs family,” SSUSD Superintendent Catherine Kawaguchi said, adding the district is excited to show the incoming children and their parents all the various programs the district has to offer. “And of course, if you have an increase in enrollment, then you have an increase in revenue.”

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