During the July meeting, Superintendent Bill Gilhaus received approval from the Board of Education to purchase 39.22 acres of land. The district plans to build at least one new elementary or middle school. Building funds may come from a 2012 bond issue the superintendent plans to present at the August board meeting.
District enrollment has expanded over the past five years. Just last spring, the board unanimously approved $60,000 for site development to add temporary class space at Moonlight Elementary School on the east side of Gardner.
However, most growth for the district is predicted to be in the northwest of town, and home building is also underway in Edgerton, according to community growth and development information on the Gardner Edgerton website.
According to statistics from the Kansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the number of students attending Gardner Edgerton schools has grown from under 2,000 two decades ago to more than 5,000 today.
The prediction is that enrollment will continue to increase over the next decade, despite a decline in single-family residential building permits, according to a demographic study the district commissioned.
Gardner Edgerton’s Board of Education voted 7-0 to approve the land purchase at their regular meeting, which took place July 11 in the District Offices Building.