Ironton enrollment may see decline

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Not a great picture, but it could be worse.

Number crunchers project the enrollment in the Ironton City Schools will decline over the next 10 years, in spite of an upswing during the last two years.

Enrollment is one of two factors in determining how much money the district will get for school construction. The other consideration is property values.

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Superintendent Dean Nance said Tuesday that the Dublin-based Dejong, Inc., has completed its enrollment projection report for the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Projections show a decrease of 229 students during the next 10 years. Nance said the figures are better than what district officials expected.

"At one time, we were projected to lose 50 students a year," he said. "The growth in the last two years did help us."

The district's enrollment decreased by 354 students overall during the last 10 years. However, the student population increased by 64 students during the last two years. Current enrollment stands at 1,641 for the 2004-05 school year.

The projections report takes into account, among other things, live births, deaths, new home construction, residential real estate sales and the district's enrollment history from 1995 to the present.

Nance said in spite of the projections, he has faith Ironton's population will grow once the economy starts to grow and the city has the infrastructure needed to make it happen.

"We have been encouraged that enrollment has been up the last two years even though economic development has not been booming. This is due in part to open enrollment. I'm encouraged that we are growing even though it may be small," Nance said. "I believe Ironton is on the verge of busting wide open (in terms of economic development). We have available land that can be developed and access to rail, water and highways and we have a workforce that is second to none."

The board also:

&t;Accepted the donation of a defibrillator from the Foundation for the Tri-State Community.

&t;Accepted bids for the installation of a handicapped-accessible lift at Ironton Middle School.

&t;Awarded two-year contracts to principals John Maynard, Annette Massie, Shelly McGraw and Toben Shreck, and to assistant principal Mark LaFon and cafeteria supervisor Sharon Hackworth.

&t;Agreed to advertise the sale of three buses.

&t;Accepted the resignation of Ralph Snead a

&t;Set the next board meeting for 4:30 Friday, April 22 at Kingsbury Elementary School.