Mercer schools will study how to handle growing enrollment

March 03, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - The facilities study committee for Mercer County schools will have its hands full when it meets later this year.

The committee will study options for handling growth in enrollment, Assistant Superintendent Mike Barnard said Tuesday evening after the Mercer County Board of Education meeting. "All of the schools are above design limits."

All three Mercer County schools have or will have next year more students than the schools were built to house, and King Middle School has had more growth over the last three years than Mercer County Elementary School and Mercer County High School.

Over the last three years, about 100 more students have enrolled in the middle school. "We've absorbed about all we can," said middle school Principal John Gumm. In addition to the growth in the number of students in the elementary school going on to middle school, there have been other sources of students.


Gumm said about half of the 100 students have come from the elementary school and growth in the community. About 40 students were unexpected. Some have come from the Christian school, and some were home-schooled children. The principal said those children usually enter the public school system at about the fifth or sixth grades.

The middle school was built so that the four grades enrolled there remain in a single corridor and do not mingle with students in other grades. The increase in the number of students has changed that situation.

Teachers now must go to the library or teachers' lounge for their planning periods while their classrooms are used by another class. A computer lab also is being used by other classes.

At the high school, classes may be held in a building currently used as a field house. The school board purchased a warehouse late last year and a part of it will be used for a field house, because, Superintendent Bruce Johnson said after the purchase, the projected enrollment for the high school next year is about 50 more students than currently are enrolled.

Johnson hopes the current field house can be converted to two or three classrooms.

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