School boards generally catch a lot of flak from families during the redistricting process, but Union County Public Schools doesn’t get enough credit on the amount of research that goes into these decisions.
I have been particularly impressed with presentations delivered by UCPS Planning Manager Don Ogram Jr. in recent months during the facilities committee meetings, which are chaired by school board member Kathy Heintel.
Ogram discussed enrollment and development data within the Sun Valley cluster during the Dec. 18 facilities meeting.
He described the cluster as three major areas: Sun Valley campus, south to Airport Road and north to Indian Trail.
Ogram identified 1,532 housing units that have yet to be built from five active developments and seven planned projects in the Indian Trail area as of August 2019.
He then showed 1,459 units waiting to be built from two active developments and three planned projects in the Sun Valley portion of the cluster as of August 2019.
“In this cluster, you’ll notice that we have a heavy dose of apartments and townhomes,” Ogram told the facilities committee. “This is a change from what we’ve seen in Union County over the past decades. Most of these are in planning although we have had one open in this area in the last two years.”
In total, the cluster is bracing for 2,991 housing units between the Indian Trail and Sun Valley areas.
Heintel noted that apartments may come in the form of one, two or three bedrooms. The more bedrooms an apartment has, the more likely a family will reside there.
“That’s the difficulty we face in planning,” he said. “A developer can change that sort of thing part way through the process.”
Ogram shared current enrollment data and building utilization for schools within the cluster:
• Indian Trail Elementary: 582 students, 91% utilization, four mobile classrooms.
• Rocky River Elementary: 540 students, 82% utilization, 12 mobile classrooms.
• Shiloh Valley Primary: 583 students, 91% utilization, zero mobile classrooms.
• Shiloh Valley Elementary: 593 students, 70% utilization, two mobile classrooms.
• Sun Valley Middle: 1,140 students, 97% utilization, 10 mobile classrooms.
• Sun Valley High: 1,473 students, 98% utilization, four mobile classrooms.
Ogram has since given a presentation on the Weddington cluster on Jan. 23. He will talk about the Marvin Ridge cluster next.