Perry Meridian Middle has approximately 1,185 students; in 2021-22 its projected enrollment will climb to 1,291. Southport Middle has about 1,135 students; in 2021-22 the projected enrollment will surge to approximately 1,328.
Perry Meridian Sixth Grade Academy has 646 students, and 680 students are expected in 2021-22.
The growth at Southport Sixth Grade Academy is expected to be even greater. Enrollment is approximately 560 students but is expected to increase to 682 in 2021-22.
Approximately 455 additional students are estimated for Grades 6-8 by 2021-22.
In reviewing those numbers, we realize we will be over capacity in the academies and middle schools. The Board of Education is considering a plan to prepare for the future:
• Perry Academy: eight additional classrooms.
• Perry Meridian Middle: 13 more classrooms and two Project Lead the Way labs.
• Southport Academy: eight additional classrooms.
• Southport Middle: 10 more classrooms, one Project Lead the Way lab and one comprehensive intervention program classroom.
Realistically, we must begin planning now for growth that is expected in the next four or five years. Generally, planning a project of this scale takes 24 months, while design and construction take approximately 14 months.
If approved, construction could begin as early as next summer, and the new classrooms could open for the 2019-20 school year. During this expansion our goal is to minimize disruption to our students. Construction crews will utilize summer vacation and other breaks to do the most intensive aspects of the project.
We appreciate all of the support our community has given us throughout the years. It is important to communicate to our supporters that this project will be paid for with savings that remain from our existing construction fund, as well as rainy day funds. The school district will not propose a bond referendum, and taxes will not be increased as a result of this project.
It is truly a privilege that families trust us to provide excellent educational opportunities that prepare students for success in the classroom and in life. We are committed to maintaining a safe and comfortable learning environment for all of our students, and we will keep our community informed as we continue to discuss all future improvements inside our schools.