Wentzville needs 2 more schools as student population continues to swell | St. Louis Public Radio

Wentzville needs 2 more schools as student population continues to swell

Dec 22, 2017

Wentzville School District just opened two new school buildings in August. But now officials are plotting out two more.

The St. Charles County school district’s board of education approved putting a bonding measure on the April 2018 ballot on Thursday. It will allow the district to borrow enough money for two more new schools and additions for four others.

This latest bond measure, which won’t raise property taxes, will authorize the district to borrow $125 million. The money will go toward a new high school and new elementary school, more classrooms at three schools and a new gymnasium for Holt High School, according to district spokeswoman Mary LaPak. The bond will need 57 percent voter approval.

Enrollment in the Wentzville School District has been increasing by 400 and 500 student each year for nearly two decades. Many people in the St. Louis metro area continue to move westward in search of cheap housing and good schools.

The district has built 13 new schools since 2001 and added onto several others. Over that time, it’s asked residents to approve property tax increases or construction bonds 15 times. Nine were approved, generating more than $300 million for the district.

The district educated fewer than 6,000 kids in the early 2000s, but demographic studies done by the district predict enrollment will continue to swell from about 16,000 this school year to 22,000 by 2025.

Neighboring St. Charles school districts Francis Howell and Ft. Zumwalt went through similar rapid growth in the late 90s. Available land has pushed development to within the Wentzville school boundaries.


Follow Ryan on Twitter: @rpatrickdelaney