How overcrowded is HHS, really? Can’t we just make classes a little bigger?

HHS opened in 2005 with 1,277 students, a classroom capacity of 1,350 and a core capacity of 1,550. Classroom capacity maxes out when classes and labs are full. Core capacity depends on the size of spaces like cafeterias, auditoriums, and gymnasiums, as well as the width of connector areas like halls and stairways.

When a student in the 6th grade is in their first year at HHS, there are predicted to be 2,100 students, which is 55% over capacity. If we still only have a single high school, this year’s 6th grade class will graduate from a school with 2,500 students — a school that is 84% over capacity.

It takes nearly 4 years to build a new high school. Even if we had the land to build a new high school tomorrow, this year’s 6th graders will be going to a school that has over 2,000 students. The issue isn’t if these students will go to a severely overcrowded school. The issue is how long will these students have to go to a severely overcrowded school and whether the students who are still in our elementary schools also will be at a severely overcrowded high school.

1,780 students currently attend HHS (28% above classroom capacity). Projected enrollment in 5 years (2022) is 2,266 students (67% above capacity), and in 10 years (2027) is 2,518 (86% above capacity). Details are here.

We have made classes bigger, and we’ve added trailers on both sides of the building to help expand classroom space (see trailer cost and location at the HHS site here). We can’t build wider stairways, or a bigger kitchen, bathrooms, gymnasiums, or auditoriums in HHS as it is currently constructed. We can’t make core spaces bigger without constructing an annex or an addition. An 800 person annex or addition would be full when it opened, and would lock us into becoming a 1 mega-high school town. HHS is really severely overcrowded.