Central Schools’ Student Enrollment to Experience Slow Growth Between Now and 2030, Study Says

A demographic study commissioned by the Central Community School Board shows student enrollment in Central’s five public schools is likely to grow over the next 12 years, although slowly. The school system will grow by less than two percent a year or 800 to 1,000 students by 2030, according to Michael Hefner, chief demographer of Geographic Planning & Demographic Services, LLC, which conducted the study.

School Population

Central schools had 4,769 students for the 2018-2019 school year. That number would grow to between 5,579 to 5,786 students by 2030. These projections are based on the number of students currently in each grade, past enrollment growth by grade, and the number of houses available or approved for construction in the city.

Using the highest projections, school enrollment would grow from 2018 to 2030 as follows:

School 2018 to 2030

Bellingrath K 502,636

Tanglewood 1-2 662,855

Central IS 3-5 1,1141,279

Central MS 6-8 1,1031,268

Central HS 9-12 1,3881,749

Total 4,7695,786


Based on those projections, CIS and CMS will be at capacity in 2027 and Central High will be at capacity in 2030.


Housing has been growing slowly in Central. In the current decade, fewer homes have been constructed

than at any time since the 1960’s.

The study show that the 11,088 housing units in Central were built in the following decades:

Before 1940 117

1940-1949 121

1950-1959 446

1960-1969 526

1970-1979 3,300

1980-1989 2,523

1990-1999 1,580

2000-2009 1,490

2010-2018 985

Unbuilt Lots in Central

The study shows lots in the City of Central unbuilt or under construction consist of 

Bellingrath 4th Filing 36

Willow Grove 479

Magnolia Square 202

Miscellaneous 212

Total 929

Builders anticipate building and selling these over the next five to 10 years.

Types of Housing in Central

Of the 11,088 housing units in Central, 8,894 are single-family homes. A total of 1,646 are mobile homes. There are 493 multi-unit housing units in Central.

  — Woody Jenkins, editor

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