What are the capacity numbers for D38 schools? The answer is a little more complex than one would think. Capacity is an estimation of the number of students that will adequately fit and be attended to in a classroom/school. Determining those numbers includes factors such as building size and meeting the programming needs of students. LPSD worked with RTA Architects from 2016 to 2018 assessing the condition, utilization, and current capacity needs of D38 schools.
Changes in how a building is used can impact capacity numbers. Common spaces (the principal's office, staff lounge, and staff bathroom) at Lewis-Palmer Middle School have been converted into usable classroom spaces in order to accommodate students' needs. During winter break in 2016-2017, more than 50 new students enrolled at Bear Creek Elementary School, causing the class sizes at all grades to increase because new classrooms could not be added after the start of the school year.
Capacity numbers can fluctuate based on the federal and state programming requirements for serving special needs students. For instance, some classes may need to be converted into therapy rooms. According to the Colorado Department of Education Exceptional Children's Education Act, each special needs student must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) established by the administration.
LPSD is expected to enroll 693 additional students over the next five years, according to 2019 Metrostudy projections. The middle school is currently over capacity and many of our elementary schools are nearing capacity. Returning Bear Creek Elementary back to a second middle school would greatly alleviate current capacity and class size issues.
Lewis-Palmer School District Building Information Last Ten Years
(scroll to page 80 to see capacity, original design capacity, and PK-12 enrollment numbers from each school for the last 10 years)