The following item was discussed by the Alexandria School Board at its Sept. 27 meeting. For further information, call 824-6635.
FACILITIES REPORT -- A study presented to the board predicted that the city's school system, faced with growing enrollment and expanded programs, will run out of space for its students by the year 2000.
The study, prepared by a consultant, concluded that even if grade levels were reassigned from one building to another and school attendance boundaries were redrawn, some new construction would be required to accommodate students in the next decade. Commenting on the report, Superintendent Paul W. Masem said that "the further we got into the study, it became increasingly clear that it would not be enough to realign the grades."
The report, which is part of a school redistricting study ordered by the board, predicted that student enrollment would increase from the current 9,355 students to 10,639 by the year 2000.
It also noted that the crowding problem is increased because Alexandria continues to add programs such as social counseling, special education and English as a second language. Of the system's 384 classrooms, the report noted, only about a third, or 236, are being used for regular instruction.
Consultant Paul Abramson offered several possible solutions to the crowding. One is to transform Francis C. Hammond Junior High into a second high school for the city and John Adams Elementary into the system's third middle school.
Masem said that various proposed plans ranged in cost from several thousand dollars to millions.
As an example, Abramson said it would cost $15 million to $20 million to expand T.C. Williams High School to include ninth graders, who now attend the city's two junior high schools.
Masem said the least expensive of the possibilities would be not to reassign the various grade levels but to expand classroom space at elementary schools by using portable trailers.