Crowded Fayette elementary classes foreseen for 10 years

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Most Fayette middle, high schools to remain well under capacity through 2028 — 

Data complied for demographic study for the Fayette County Board of Education shows that Fayette schools by 2028 will have 1,700 fewer students than the system capacity will allow. Most middle and high school will remain significantly under capacity while the majority of elementary schools will be at or above capacity in 2028.

In total, Fayette schools have a total capacity of 22,626 students. Looking ahead over the next decade, schools will be under capacity by more than 2,000 students in the 2022-2023 school year and under capacity by nearly 1,700 students in 2027-2028.

It was back in 2007 that Fayette saw the largest enrollment in its history when 22,242 students attended, not including pre-K students. Since that time, which included the aftermath of the Great Recession, enrollment numbers continued to decline annually until 2018 when enrollment had dropped to 19,777 students. Things began to change incrementally and, in the current school year, the system has an enrollment of 19,973 students, again not including the approximate 300 students attending pre-K classes.

That was then, but what about the future? That is where the demographic study by Education Planners, Inc. conducted for the school system comes in.

The study examined the enrollment capacity at each school, current enrollment numbers per school and projected enrollment for the 2022-2023 and 2027-2028 school years.

A review of enrollment by school comparing each school’s capacity and projected enrollment in 2023 and 2028 showed:

When it comes to issues of enrollment and capacity there is more to the story. That variable deals with the schools that are near or over capacity, both now and 10 years from now, as illustrated above.

For high schools, McIntosh is currently over capacity (106.72 percent) and will remain so in 2028 (110.5 percent).

Whitewater High is currently at 97.61 percent capacity and is projected to be at 98.5 percent in 2028.

Fayette County, Starr’s Mill and Sandy Creek are currently at approximately 79 percent capacity and are projected to hold close to those numbers in 2028.

For middle schools, Booth is currently at 102.84 percent capacity and is projected at 110.75 percent in 2028.

Flat Rock is currently at 75.54 percent and projected to reach 90.12 percent in 2028.

Bennett’s Mill, Rising Starr and Whitewater middle schools are currently at approximately 81 percent capacity, with those numbers expected to rise to approximately 87 percent by 2028.

For elementary schools, nine of the 14 are currently at 93 percent capacity or higher. Kedron is currently at 102.61 percent and North Fayette is currently at 111.90 percent.

By 2028, nine of the 14 elementary schools will be at 97 percent capacity or higher. Those schools projected to top the 100 percent capacity mark in 2028 include Fayetteville at 103.02 percent, Inman at 100.9 percent, Kedron at 112.56 percent, North Fayette at 116.16 percent and Peachtree City at 101.64 percent.