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North Hills Finance Director: No Negative Impact from Heartland Homes at Highland CC

David Hall said students from the proposed housing plan may force a redistricting at the elementary school level, but it's too early to know for sure.

If Heartland Homes wins approval to build the North Hills School district will easily be able to accommodate an influx of students.

David Hall, director of finance and operations, told the school board Monday night that developers believe there will be 105 new elementary students in the district, once all of the homes are completed in about eight years.

"If you think about it, the district has 116 elementary classrooms so 105 additional students are essentially less than one per classroom," said Hall. "However if that were to be true, 105, that's more than you can move into Highcliff elementary. If you're looking at that volume, you're probably looking at a redistricting in about five or six years to more evenly spread the children."

However, Hall believes developers are being conservative, and that numbers he has seen from the district's own demographic studies, indicates far fewer students will come out of the new housing plan.

"We looked at our higher end housing developments in Ross and West View and we looked at the townhomes that are currently in the district," he said. "Given the same amount of kids coming from those types of developments, and divide it by the number of houses they're talking about building there, then you're really looking at about 48 additional elementary kids by the time the development is fully built out."

Hall said the district also has no intentions of selling the former Seville Elementary School. 

"It is closed but is being maintained in case we need it in the future," he said. "We're also looking at the possibilities of leasing it out, again so we can retain it in case we need it somewhere in the future."  

At the secondary level, developers predict 90 new secondary level students (grades 7-12).

"We have plenty of building capacity, as far as the cost of educating additional children, the projected $90-million of increased assessed value will generate more than enough tax revenues to support the additional staff that might be needed," he said. "I think this development is a positive thing for the school district."

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