As the city of Madison grows, so does the school district.
However, residents are concerned schools could become overcrowded. Just last night, city council approved two zoning residential ordinances that will bring in more than 250 homes.
The school district has already been dealing with an influx of students. Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols made it clear to city council last night, he will not take a stance on growth, but will be transparent on what the future of the school district may look like.
Right now, the district is building a new elementary school and middle school.
"Our challenge will be if we continue to grow like we are, that we will have a challenge at the elementary level in probably five to seven years," Nichols said.
Currently, the district has around 12,000 students. In 7 to 9 years, at the rate the city is growing, he expects that number to be near 15,000.
Nichols said it is possible they will eventually need to build another elementary school or expand a middle school and high school.
"We want to look down the road, we want to be good stewards of the money that we have, we want to be prepared for that growth," Nichols said. "That is my challenge, you know, making sure we know those future expansions we are looking at."
Erica Colo and her family moved to Madison more than six years ago because of the school district.
"That was our main driving factor when we selected our house," Colo said.
Just within those six years, she has seen the city boom. However, she thinks two high schools may not be enough.
"I am concerned that the high school she is going to be at is going to be way too crowded," Colo said.
Nichols said virtual learning may help alleviate the issue. He said the district will have to wait and see post-pandemic how many students continue this way of learning.
"Right now, we're good, but we gotta year or two that we got to be prepared and have a plan in place to see how those numbers grow so we can judge what's going to happen after the pandemic as it related to virtual," Nichols said.