By Sylvia Gonzalez
BIG SPRING - The Cline Shale is expected to attract more people to Howard County and surrounding areas, which means even more students will be packing the hallways of local schools. NewsWest 9 spoke with the big spring school district.
According to Assistant Superintendent, Danny Ferrel, the number of students who enrolled this year is the highest they've seen in the last 10 years. He says if the Cline Shale pans out as many say it will, it will bring even more students to their schools.
"With a large influx of kids you gotta determine where they are academically and where we need to go from there," Ferrel said.
Ferrel says the four new primary schools were built to handle a significant amount of students, if needed.
"Each of the elementaries were constructed that if somewhere down the road, we expand the elementaries. The elementaries are expandable to approximately four more classrooms [per school]," Ferrel said.
However, they have also thought of using old schools to accommodate the influx of students.
"There is a chance we can move a class from the junior high to the old Goliad that would free up a lot of space at the junior high. It could free up as much as 200 to 300 more students. If we have a big enrollment growth, we may have to utilize Kentwood with more Pre-K sections," Ferrel said.
With the possibility of more students moving into the district, comes the need for more teachers.
"With new kids and higher enrollment, we are gonna need alot of new staff and that would be a positive for new graduates. If they wanna get out of the Metroplex and come this way, we would love to have them," Ferrel said.
Ferrel says they don't know when they should expect the influx of students, but when they see an increase, the school district will be ready.