SCARBOROUGH — The Town Council and Board of Education are working on a plan to accommodate all students and residents as Scarborough’s population grows.

On Feb. 12, the two boards held a workshop to discuss population trends and various school projects like the high school’s potential turf replacement.

Town Planner Jay Chace showed a presentation of housing development over the past 20 years and how the number of single-family homes has increased, and with it the number of school age children.

The largest population of the town’s’ residents, about 22 percent, are between the ages of 6 and 18, he said.

Rebecca Wandell, the town’s enrollment projections specialist, said that there had been 130 preregistered kindergartners for the 2019-20 school year, and 232 who actually enrolled. This year, there are already 170 kindergartners enrolled for the 2020-21 year.

According to the Scarborough Public School’s official enrollment data, there were 197 students attending Blue Point School in June of 2019, 228 students at Eight Corners and 187 at Pleasant Hill. School Board Member Hillory Durgin said that with the increase of pre-registered kindergartners, there might be even more students attending primary schools next fall.

There has also been an increase in birth rates which will begin to affect schools in five to six years, according to Durgin and Town Manager Tom Hall.

Besides births, housing turnover is a big factor to growth in town, said School Board Member Nicholas Gill. As elderly families move out, young families with children move in.

While the issue of housing permits was discussed, Gill said that permits won’t stop families from buying homes.

“I live in an area where the houses are selling, so that’s where I think the birthrate is coming in,” he said. “As we’re talking about family dynamics shifting and moving forward.”

Councilor Don Hamill asked how the consolidated school proposal fit into this research, but members of the Board of Education said that wasn’t relevant to the current workshop.

The School Board Building Steering Committee is currently working on the consolidated school idea, Durgin said, which the Board of Education gave the approval for in January.

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