Higher enrollment in Oak Ridge Schools focus of joint work session

Members of the Oak Ridge Board of Education and City Council will meet together Monday to look at increasing student enrollment in the city school system and what it means for school capacity.

The public meeting, at which no official action can take place, is set for 6 to 8 p.m. in the School Administration Building on New York Avenue. The work session will follow the School Board's monthly meeting, which meets at 4 p.m. at the same location.

Cope Architecture presented the school board the results of a study three years ago regarding the city's growth and its effect on the schools, as reported previously. Linden Elementary School on the west end of Oak Ridge was the greatest concern.

This is a 2020 file photo of a sign at Linden Elementary School, where a study three years ago suggested a new school or redistricting might be needed because of new residential developments on the west end. The Oak Ridge City Council and Board of Education are meeting Monday night for a work session to look at student enrollment and what changes or additions in facilities might be needed.

Last year, the school board entered into a contract with a consultant to explore ways to address the growing student population, including the possibility of building a new school. Cornerstone Project Management LLC was contracted at a cost of $5,000 a month to provide advice for the school system in response to anticipated future enrollment growth and program needs. At the time, Allen Thacker, Oak Ridge Schools' supervisor of maintenance and operations, told the school board that Cornerstone would provide advice for the school system, "including developing a plan for a possible new future school, central offices, and other needed school improvements or expansions."

Donna Smith is The Oak Ridger’s news editor and covers Oak Ridge area news. Email dsmith@oakridger.com. Twitter: ridgernewsed. Support strong local journalism by subscribing at https://subscribe.oakridger.com/offers.

This article originally appeared on Oakridger: Higher enrollment in Oak Ridge Schools focus of joint work session