MERIDIAN — The West Ada School District welcomes another academic year and more students, but for the district as a whole, most of the school halls are too full
“Of all of our big high schools, four out of the five are overcapacity,” said chief communications officer Eric Exline.
Mountain view has roughly 2,000 kids filling its halls in a space built for 1,800. It’s currently extending the facility to add 16 classrooms and a larger cafeteria to address the overcrowding, but it’s also using portables as a temporary fix, like most other high schools and middle schools in the district.
“Let’s see, I’ve been here 20 years, there’s never been a time we haven’t been using portables,” said Exline.
Across the district, the numbers don’t look any better. 80% of the high schools are overcrowded.
“In the range of 400 at Centennial, to more than 700 over at Rocky,” said Exline.
67% of middle schools are at capacity “the most overcrowded is heritage, but for 1,000 they have about 1275 kids and several portable buildings
And 28% of elementary schools are full. The district doesn’t expect the schools currently under capacity to stay that way for long. Most of the schools under capacity are newer but built in high growth areas.
“Victory is built for 1000, last I checked I think they have about 970 kids, so they’re close, Star was built for 1000, and they have just under 700, I would imagine in 2 years that school will be full as well,” said Exline.
The district will continue to have portables, and expand certain schools like mountain view, to accommodate the growth. The district is also opening Owyhee High School, in fall 2021, which will help with overcrowding at Eagle High School and Rocky.