Eight of the division’s 23 schools are expected to be overcapacity by 2030-31, including Baker-Butler Elementary, which would have 142 overcapacity students by that year. The new primary school would help alleviate capacity issues in this school and in this region in general.
Baker-Butler and Hollymead Elementary Schools are in high growth neighborhood areas, with future developments expected to attract large numbers of students, according to the division’s analysis.
Albemarle County already has a potential elementary school site along US 29 in the northern part of the county in the Brookhill development.
Brownsville, Crozet and Stone Robinson elementary schools, as well as Lakeside Middle School, are also in areas where population growth is expected.
Albemarle County has not built a new school since 2002, when Baker-Butler opened. Since then, the division has made efforts to expand existing facilities to address capacity issues and to use mobile classroom trailers as an interim measure. But this strategy is not feasible in the future, officials said, due to the school’s footprint or current student enrollment.
The school board will hold a working session later this month to discuss the size of schools, large or small.
Currently, enrollment varies across the county, particularly at the elementary level where schools were as small as 153 students and as large as 723 last school year. At the college level, enrollment ranged from 333 to 871. Secondary enrollment is more balanced, with Western Albemarle having the smallest enrollment with 1,138 students and Albemarle High School having the largest with 1,853.