SD2 demographic study results to be unveiled at special Monday meeting

2012-11-03T19:00:00Z 2012-11-04T08:22:03Z SD2 demographic study results to be unveiled at special Monday meetingBy ROB ROGERS The Billings Gazette

Demographic firm Cropper GIS will make its presentation to the Billings School District 2 board Monday night, showing where the district is likely to grow and how it could potentially impact individual school boundaries.

Student growth has been an especially contentious issue for the board as trustees have grappled with how best to interpret population growth on the Billings West End. 

The issue came to a head last year after the district's last demographics study was shown to have serious potential flaws and then-Chairwoman Barbara Bryan attempted to edit and correct portions of it, inflaming the issue. 

The new demographic study is part of a districtwide master facilities plan commissioned by the board earlier this year. The study, performed by the DLR Group, is designed to help the district make better use of the its buildings and plan better for future enrollment growth.  

Part of that is forecasting where SD2 students will be living in the coming years and designing school boundaries to mirror that growth — all data that has been gathered in the demographic study.

DLR staffers spent much of the summer touring each school in the district, looking at a building's overall fitness and conditions conducive to education. 

The plan will include a capacity analysis that will show just how many students SD2's existing buildings can hold. It will include a physical assessment that will detail all the wear and tear that's happened at each school.

Finally, the plan includes the education assessment, which will give an analysis on how the district can most effectively use the space to accommodate the type of educational programs it has or would like to offer.

Monday night's report on the demographic study is the first part of the facilities plan to be finished and released to the public. By early next year, the entire plan will be finished and available for public consumption.

Monday's meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the board room at Lincoln Center in downtown Billings. 

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