The Talon Tribune

The Student News Site of Silver Creek High School

The Talon Tribune

The Talon Tribune

New Housing Developments Stir Crowding Concerns

Ben Pecherzewski
The new housing being developed at the northwest corner of Nelson Road and Dry Creek Drive

The crowding concern among school administrators rises as a new apartment complex under construction near the school begins.

The 264-unit apartment complex is under construction at the northwest corner of Nelson Road and Dry Creek Drive, behind the Target Superstore in Longmont. The Nova West Apartments property was annexed from Boulder County into the City of Longmont in 2017, and City of Longmont Planning Department officials have confirmed that the school district has stated that they have enough capacity to handle the expected amount of students from this housing development.

A former city planner for Longmont, Ava Pecherzewski, who managed the approval process for the apartment complex, stated that “the City does not give building permits to housing developments until they receive confirmation in writing from the St. Vrain Valley School District that there is enough capacity, or space, for the expected number of students from the development.”

She further explained that whenever a housing development application is submitted to the City, it requests a letter from the school district stating how many students are expected to be generated from the project, and whether there will be any negative impacts to the surrounding schools.

She confirmed that the City received a letter from St. Vrain Valley Schools stating that they expect a total of 50 new students combined in elementary, middle, and high schools, of which, around 20 new students might enroll in Silver Creek High School.

The school district uses a complicated mathematical method for determining how many students could be generated from a housing development. They usually feel that apartments generate fewer students because apartments are usually occupied by single people or couples with no kids, whereas houses generate more school students. After all, they are typically occupied by families.

Silver Creek attendance clerk, Lou Anne Anderson, shares the impact these new apartments could have on the school’s population which has grown a lot since it opened in 2001.“The school population is currently 1,400 students.” In 2018 there were 1,100 students. She has noted that the school population has been steadily increasing each year.

About 30% of the student population is “open enrolled” which means that Silver Creek is not their neighborhood high school but instead these students choose to attend here. Anderson states that if the school population got too large, the school principal could stop accepting “open-enrolled” students to make space for the neighborhood students.

It should also be noted that the new housing project being developed behind the apartments titled “ The VCP project” won’t affect school attendance as it is intended to house homeless veterans and not families with kids.

While the St Vrain Valley school district only estimates about 20 new students from the new apartments next year, there can always be exceptions. “There is really no way of knowing,” said assistant principal Karen Norris when asked about the calculation’s accuracy. “It’s fairly accurate most of the time.”

But most doesn’t mean all, which could mean that there might be as few as zero new students if no families move in, or as many as 3,168, if a family of 12 kids per household moves into every unit.

When asked about this issue, Katherine Giese, who has taught at Silver Creek for over 17 years, said “I do not believe the apartments will influence the school’s attendance significantly. In my 17+ years of experience, there has always been a slight increase in attendance per year so this is nothing out of the ordinary.”

Giese further explained that the increase in attendance can be a positive thing to have, as the school could have more students for October Count which would lead to increased funding to the school for teachers, art departments, and school lunches among other things.

While next year’s attendance might stir concerns in the community, it won’t change much, rest assured that St Vrain School District’s estimation is accurate. And while it might look similar to the way it did in previous years, there might possibly be a few new faces to liven and diversify the school.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ben Pecherzewski
Ben Pecherzewski, Staff Writer

Ben Pecherzewski is in 11th grade and is taking journalism for the first time. He decided to take journalism because he learned about it in middle school, found the process interesting, and wanted to learn more. Ben is interested in reviewing kimchi on Instagram and skiing. Ben also plays tennis often but plays outside of school. He looks forward to writing about things that he is passionate about and getting to interview people for their diverse opinions and recommendations.

Comments (0)

All The Talon Tribune Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *