YORKVILLE – The Yorkville School District 115 is expecting nearly 500 more students to enroll in its schools within the decade, according to a recent study.
The school district's Board of Education voted, 7-0, to accept the district's Demographic Trends and Enrollment Projections Study and place it on file during their meeting on Monday, July 29 at Yorkville High School on Game Farm Road.
Tim Shimp, superintendent for Yorkville School District 115, said the study suggests that the district will see student growth from about 6,200 this school year to 6,681 by the 2028-2029 school year. He said the schools that will see the biggest enrollment increases include Autumn Creek Elementary School, Yorkville Grade School, and the middle and high schools.
Shimp said the study expects enrollment for Bristol Bay Elementary and Circle Center Grade schools to remain relatively stable. He said the study anticipates declining enrollment for Grande Reserve and Bristol Grade schools.
Shimp said he thought the findings were interesting. Along with a few other school board members, he said he was surprised by those findings.
"So we’re going to have to pay attention to that,” Shimp said.
The update comes after recent development projects within the city were approved that could affect neighboring schools, including more three-bedroom homes being added to the city's Grande Reserve subdivision and Lennar Homes building 366 new homes in the city's Raintree Village subdivision.
Following the Raintree Village contract approval, Shimp had said that, in the meantime, the district has to figure out whether they'll remain a community with one middle school of almost 1,000 students and one high school with 2,000 to 3,000 students.
Shimp said during the Monday, July 29 meeting that the study also summarizes how fertility rate changes will affect enrollment, with the biggest effect being felt in a few years by the district's grade and elementary schools.
“As we look at the enrollments, we’re not really going to see significant increases until in the school year 2024 to 2025,” Shimp said.
Lynn Burks, president of the Yorkville School District 115 Board of Education, said the anticipated 1.5% growth per year seems manageable on the district's end. She said it's just something that the district will have to keep an eye on as the district moves forward with their Evolution 115 initiative, which examines the district’s current buildings, enrollment projections and educational programming.
“I think we’re ahead of the game, because we’re thinking about using space differently,” Burks said.
Dr. Robert Brenart, vice-president of the school board, said he agreed the district is right about looking for better ways to utilize the space they already have. He said there are other factors that could affect enrollment as well in the years to come, including if the city ends up getting a train station after all amid recent talks of Kendall County getting a Metra train station, or if a local business hypothetically left the area and affected the population and school enrollment that way.
Even if the city does get a train station, Brenart said, the district would have plenty of time to figure out next steps to accommodate that potential change in enrollment.
“You just follow your gut,” Brenart said.