- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio’s largest school districts increasingly are being found in the state’s central region, according to enrollment data from the Department of Education.

Data from 2013-14 - the most recent statewide numbers available - indicates that six of the 12 largest school districts in the state are found in its central region. The six districts are Columbus, South-Western, Olentangy, Hilliard, Westerville and Dublin, The Columbus Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1LGyI6u ) reported.

The uptick in students in the area has left some districts looking for ways to accommodate the increase.

Olentangy’s enrollment has nearly doubled in the last decade and the population is expected to keep growing. At Olentangy High School, teachers say they’re forced to share classrooms and move from room to room throughout the day because of the rising number of students

Liberty, one of three high schools in the district, was constructed in 2003 with a capacity of about 1,600 students, but it’s serving 2,059 this year. If enrollment projections hold, the high school will house 2,300 students by 2020. The Olentangy Board of Education is mulling the possibility of building a fourth high school because of the boom.

Dublin administrators are used to getting about 240 more students per year, said Tracey Miller, the director of district operations. But more than 400 new students have enrolled this year, and more are still showing up. Two of the four Dublin middle schools are over capacity. And the district recently built 22 classrooms onto its 12 elementary schools - the equivalent of building a whole new elementary school.

Both districts attribute their growth to a healthier post-recession economy, as houses are selling and homebuilding is afoot.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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