Study: Higley USD should expect continued enrollment growth in next 10 years

Higley USD
The Higley USD governing board heard demographic projections for the district's next year at its Nov. 4 meeting. (Courtesy Higley USD)

The Higley USD governing board heard demographic projections for the district's next year at its Nov. 4 meeting. (Courtesy Higley USD)

Higley USD’s K-12 enrollment will likely peak in the next 10 years, according to a demographics study presented Nov. 4 to the Higley USD governing board.

Rick Brammer, principal at Phoenix-based economics consulting firm Applied Economics, showed the board projections that had the district growing from 13,572 students this school year to 15,281 in the 2029-30 school year.

However, Brammer cautioned that much of the change will be determined by the level of competition from charter and private schools and how that will change the net enrollment-population ratio.

The study’s other conclusions included:

Demographic trends do not indicate the potential for a decrease in the school‐age population, although some established areas are likely to decline in enrollment during the 10 years.

Single family housing construction will wane during the projection period due to a lack of available land, and much of the expected multifamily housing is not targeted to families with children.

Two elementary schools—Gateway Point and Higley—and both middle and high schools show enrollment growth during the projection period, with most of that increase occurring over the next five years or so.

Other business

  • Assistant Superintendent Michael Fowler presented as an informational item a proposal to increase facility rentals, mostly on the tier for nonprofit youth clubs. The increases range from $5-$35. Nonprofit adult clubs and for-profit organizations also would see an increase in a custodial fee and a fee to open and close facilities.

  • The board also heard a proposal to increase the district’s preschool tuition rates anywhere from 6.67% to 9.33%, depending on the level of service. Under the proposal, district staff members would continue to get a 20% discount and have their registration fees waived. The increase will ensure that revenue will continue to cover teacher and staff salaries plus their benefits, according to the district.

  • The board also studied a $41,000 proposal by architecture, planning and interior design firm Orcutt Winslow for a facility condition index, anevaluation of individual school capacity and an updated demographic study from Applied Economics. The tools would be used in making revisions the comprehensive facilities plan for the district. The facilities condition plan was last updated in 2014. Because it was in work-study session, no action was taken.

By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


See a breakdown of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations and more local data. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19: Gilbert cases up slightly over weekend

See a breakdown of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations and more local data.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 vaccination appointments available beginning March 1 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College

COVID-19 vaccination appointments will be available beginning at 9 a.m. March 1 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College—the latest state-run vaccination site.

Denise Lopez
Denise Lopez appointed HD South chief

Denise Lopez replaces Kayla Kolar, who left in 2020 to become the executive director of House of Refuge, as HD South's president and CEO.

The new Cracker Barrel Old Country Store location in Gilbert had standing waits outside when it opened its doors Feb. 15. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cracker Barrel open in Gilbert; Harbor Freight to open March 6 in Chandler and more February news

Read the latest business and community news from February in Gilbert and Chandler.

Western Canal
Gilbert officials wanted to avoid land acquisitions along Western Canal, staff tells residents

When Gilbert staff first addressed the problem of a deteriorating sewer along the Western Canal, they hoped to avoid using eminent domain to acquire land to fix the problem, staff told residents Feb. 25.

Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board Member Lori Wood expresses her concerns about parts of the proposed school calendars for 2022-23 and 2023-24. (Screen shot from YouTube)
Gilbert Public Schools adjusts calendar; downtown Chandler adding business, multifamily and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from Chandler and Gilbert from the past week.

Arizona tourism statistics
State’s tourism struggle greater than Gilbert’s

The tourism industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 statewide, including locally in Gilbert.

Gilbert Public Safety Training Facility
Gilbert opens $85M training facility for growing police, fire forces

Gilbert is ready to open its Public Safety Training Facility under budget and ahead of schedule, officials said, allowing public safety forces to conduct expanded training in town.

Kirk Nelson, Nelson backyard
Residents hoping to save yards prepare to meet with Gilbert Town Council

Neighbors along the Western Canal path between Gilbert and Lindsey roads are hoping a meeting with Gilbert Town Council members can save them from losing their backyards to the town

Higley USD district office
Higley USD high school graduations will head back to campuses

Higley USD is planning for live high school graduations in May, but they will not be held at Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo Arena as they were pre-COVID-19.

The Meeple's Board Game Cafe
The Meeple's Cafe selling its games ahead of closing

The establishment combined food with board game play.