Going to Need a Bigger Boat – Colonial School District Projected to Grow by 1,000 Students Over Next Decade

The Times Herald reports that Scott France of the Montgomery County Planning Commission made a presentation to the Colonial School Board on February 18th regarding a study conducted to project the potential number of new students within the Colonial School District over the next decade.

From the Times Herald:

An analysis of birth rate trends, new construction, moves in and out of the district and private, charter and cyber school growth in the district by the Montgomery County Planning Commission (MCPC) was presented Thursday to the Colonial school board and about 40 residents.

Enrollment at all four elementary schools is expected to grow in the next five years, including 60 to 75 students at Plymouth Elementary School, 45 to 60 at Conshohocken Elementary School, 40 to 55 at Ridge Park Elementary School and 20 to 30 at Whitemarsh Elementary School.

The study concluded that births have surged for the last four years and will begin impacting the next kindergarten class. Births will stay high and could increase further with the millennial generation. New proposed construction will outpace recent trends with over 1,900 units expected to be built in the next five years. Students from older multifamily apartment buildings have doubled in recent years and are expected to continue increasing.

Further down in the article:

“The K-3 (grade) line has grown over the past decade. Detached housing overwhelmingly provides the largest number of school-age children, and multifamily housing provides the smallest number of school age children,” France said. “The waterfront developments in Conshohocken, we do not see public school children coming out of those units.”

The district currently has an enrollment of 4,761. The study made three projections for the 2025-2026 school year. The three projections saw 864, 1,023 and 1,107 additional students. The first projection used the data of the district’s birthrate from the past four years. The second projection used the same birthrate data, but added in the expected new housing in the district. The third projection took the data from the second projection, but increased the birth rate. Based on these projects total enrollment will between 5,625 and 5,868 students in 2025-2026.

We found it interesting that the newer and 1,000+ yet-to-be-built apartments on Conshy’s riverfront were determined to not be a potential source of students. The older apartment communities on Butler (which have a Conshohocken address, but are in Plymouth Township) and along Germantown Pike in Plymouth Meeting, are the growing source of students.

You can read the entire article here.