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Too Many Kids and Not Enough Space?

courtesy of GTV

courtesy of GTV

Angie Cornelson, Staff Writer

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Geneva Community High School has been around since the early 1900s, a historical landmark and one known to everyone. It has gone through plot movements and renovations, but now, it is believed, that this beautiful place of learning, has no more elbow room. As of 2002, a large expansion was completed, and more students could be held at the high school, but over a decade later, things have grown a tad bit more crowded. Since around 2006, the student population has on average been around 1,900 to 2,000 GHS attendees. The school, however, can only hold at least 1,600. At a school board meeting that next year, it was predicted that the school would have another expansion and take over the lot where a previous elementary school currently sat. But, in 2008, the market crashed, leaving those promising plans to dust. Now, almost ten years after the downfall, Geneva has been picking itself back up and starting again.

Now, frankly, the student population has not grown too much, or even at all, but the problems that we are facing or going to be facing are the true reasons to be proactive. In the state of Illinois, from 2014 to now, the average number of students in a high school classroom range around 19 to 20. To put in perspective, the classrooms at GHS have stepped passed that line and on average there are about 25 to 30 students a class. Studies have shown that students learn better, and participate more in a smaller classroom setting. Teachers can discover the learning styles and proper work ethics to help students become more successful in school. But with the number of students currently attending, it is hard to narrow it down to only 19 or 20 students. The school district have taken some measures in helping in this situation with the addition of the mobile classrooms, introduced in the 2016-2017 school year. Adding a few more classrooms for clubs to meet after school, the very action of implanting them outside has been because of the reason that the school may be too small to occupy everyone attending.

Over the summer, the community of Batavia issued a proposition which planned to make the Campana Building an affordable apartment complex. If this proposition does                 get approved, Geneva High School will be hit the hardest. Batavia plans to make the building contain 80 affordable apartments which will fall on GHS’ district line making every family who moves there a Geneva student. Depending on the number of high schoolers in those families is not up for speculation, but it would increase the student population and with no concrete plans of expansion, there will be no empty corners left at GHS.

Facing the Coming Years with Our Feet Planted

Geneva High School has gone through bumpy roads, and has experienced turmoil before, but the student population, is the least of its worries. In 2006, the school board did plan on the expansion of the high school, but only when the population reached a certain amount of kids, which, in the last decade, it has not. The number of students here at GHS has been hovering around the 1,900 and 2,000 markers, and yet, it is a lot, there is still plenty of room for learning and after school activities. And eventually, once the economy crashed in ’08, the numbers remained the same. Geneva High School’s principal, Tom Rodgers, does not seem to believe the population will be growing massively any time soon. Mr. Rodgers states, “…What I think we need to clarify, is that the population isn’t really growing. We have been somewhere in the range of 1,900 to 2,000 for, actually many years now.” As for classroom size, Geneva has been able to sustain the needs of all students, freshman to seniors, as any normal high school should. As of the 2014-2015 school year, Geneva Community High School topped out as one of the highest ranked high schools in the state, with 97% graduation rate. What many concerns are, that strike up these rumors and worries, is of the recent events of the proposal of The Campana Building, becoming an 80-apartment affordable complex. Many believe that the construction of this housing development will greatly impact the Geneva School District, but Mr. Rodgers says otherwise: “From what I understand, it could impact our population, in a rather, minimal way…Of those numbers [students] they are approximating…it would not have, in my opinion, enough of an impact to be thinking about expansion.” Because of the commotion of an old landmark being taken down, an upriser of concerns towards how many more students the high school can hold is certainly at play; however, the answer is that there currently is enough room at Geneva High School, and if there is a fear we may become overpopulated, Community Unit School District 304 will come and take care of the issue.

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The student news site of Geneva Community High School in Geneva, Illinois
Too Many Kids and Not Enough Space?