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Douglas County grapples with overcrowded schools amid population boom

Posted: 4:55 PM, Nov 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-04 17:20:05Z

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — There’s no shortage of new homes going up in Douglas County. It’s a whole different story when it comes to schools.

“They have to build more schools,” said Stephanie Williams who ended up taking her child out of Castle View High School in Castle Rock.

“She was a number. I don’t think any teacher wants their kids to be a number, but they become numbers,” she said.

It turns out Caste View High School is over capacity by more than 400 students. There isn’t even enough room to build additional mobile classrooms. School Principal Dr. Rex Corr knows it’s a problem.

“From a solid, educational and environmental standpoint, this is isn’t the best for our kids,” he said.

School overcrowding in Douglas County is an issue district-wide. What’s coming in the future is creating even more hurdles.

An extremely large housing community called Sterling Ranch is already expanding in the Roxborough area just south of Chatfield Reservoir off Titan Parkway. One hundred and fifty homes are already occupied, and by 2038, there will be 12,000 homes that will fill the several-thousand-acre site.

As of right now, no new schools are built. Kids from Sterling Ranch are going to nearby, already established schools.

Denver7 talked with Douglas County School District superintendent Dr. Thomas Tucker.

“I don’t want any of our future residents in Sterling Ranch to think we won’t have any new schools in Sterling Ranch,” he explained.

Dr. Tucker acknowledges it takes money, and lots of it, to build schools and that it’s not easy to get.

Sterling Ranch President James Yates says his team has been working closely with the school district and believes there’s nothing to worry about.

“Whether we build facilities and lease them to the school district or the school district builds new facilities, there are charter school opportunities, a lot of different choices we have,” he said.

The DCSD is hoping Douglas County residents will hit the polls on election day to pass measures 5A and 5B which would provide funds for upgrades to teacher salaries and schools.

Dr. Tucker says 5B would indeed help with building new schools as well.

Opponents of the measures have reached out to Denver7. They believe open enrollment in the district is the real issue. While Castle View is overcapacity, older schools like Douglas County High School are under capacity.