• Phone :
    • (207) 874-8100
    • Address :
    • 353 Cumberland AvePortland, Maine 04101
    • Connect with us:

Hall School Building Committee Gets Updated Enrollment Projections

this is content
Hall School Building Committee Gets Updated Enrollment Projections
Posted on 03/05/2015

After receiving updated enrollment projections for Hall School at a  meeting on March 4, the Hall School Building Committee has asked for additional information to clarify some aspects of the data and is also looking for more direction from the Portland Board of Public Education.

The School Board will hold a workshop on Tuesday, March 17, following its regular business meeting, at which the Hall School project architect, Oak Point Associates, will present the additional information the building committee is seeking.

The outcome at the School Board workshop will inform the next steps in the planning process for a new Hall School. The delay will likely impact the timing of a voter referendum on Hall School, moving the expected referendum date from this November to the spring of 2016.

At its March 4 meeting, the committee received current demographics and projected enrollment data prepared by Davis Demographics. The update was part of the work related to the 21-step process that the Maine Department of Education requires for review and approval of state-funded school construction projects. Portland is eligible to receive state funding to replace the Fred P. Hall Elementary School. The school, located at 23 Orono Road, is nearly 60 years old and is deteriorating. Replacing Hall is expected to cost more than $20 million.

Having accurate enrollment data is essential because also a part of the 21-step process for new school construction is a requirement that school districts do a regional analysis and plan comprehensively for the best long-term solution.

However, the building committee was unclear whether the demographics data it received accurately accounted for the growth in Portland’s immigrant population. Also, the committee  was unsure whether the demographics included students from the Libbytown neighborhood who are directed to Hall School. Under a School Board-approved enrollment management plan for Ocean Avenue Elementary School, which is designed to address potential overcrowding at that school, new kindergarten students who live between Douglass Street and Bradley Street, bounded by Brighton Avenue and the Fore River, are assigned to Hall School.

Oak Point will address those questions and provide more information at the School Board workshop.

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk said equity is key in the school construction planning process. “We want to make sure that we have equity across our elementary schools to ensure that every child has access to a great school, which includes not only the learning environment but also the facility in which children learn,” he said.

Hall School Building Committee members include: Ed Suslovic, City Council (Chair); Laurie Davis, School Board (Vice Chair); Nick Mavodones, City Councilor; Sarah Thompson, School Board; Marnie Morrione, School Board; Jim Banks; Bob Doherty; Joe Carter; Brian Jackson; Sean Kelsey; Katie Lamb; Whitney Letellier; Laura Newman; Pedro Nieves; and Mark Adelson, Portland Housing Authority.

For more information and the demographic projections, click on the Hall School Building Committee “Quick Link” on the district’s website, www.portlandschools.org. The demographics report can be accessed directly here.