POULSBO — As many as 145.35 more students could be attending Poulsbo Elementary and Vinland Elementary schools when six housing projects are completed.
The potential increase could bring in more than $700,000 for the district in state and federal education funding. The district receives about $5,200 per full-time student.
The schools have room — as of October, Poulsbo Elementary had an enrollment of 460 with the capacity for 115 more students, according to district documents. Vinland had 453 students, with the capacity for 172 more.
Dave Dumpert, the North Kitsap School District's director of facility maintenance, operations and capital programs, sees no reason for concern unless there is a sudden, dramatic increase in home sales and a major change in population.
"As a facilities planner, I don't see a problem," he said.
Along with six housing projects currently under construction, there are 12 that are in various approval stages. The six current projects would add 323 residences — single- family homes and duplexes — to east Poulsbo.
The district uses a population model that estimates .45 students for each single-family home.
The projects are at Poulsbo Place, at Jensen and Sunset; Chateau Ridge, Caldart Heights and Snowberry Bungalows, all on Caldart Avenue; and Liberty Hill on Urdahl Road. The new homes would be served by Poulsbo and Vinland elementary schools, Poulsbo Middle School and North Kitsap High School.
As of October, Poulsbo Middle School had 737 students with capacity for 57 more. North Kitsap High School had 1,172 students, with capacity for 90 more.
However, the rate of new construction does not match the rate of graduating students. The city Comprehensive Plan expects 5,515 new residents by 2025, and plans for an additional 2,251 housing units by then to accommodate.
Planner Alyse Nelson said West Poulsbo would likely see the most growth in the future, especially once the Urban Growth Area is annexed into city limits.
Even with the school district considering closing an elementary school, Dumpert said there is no issue with available space.
There is an estimated 873 available spaces at the elementary level, which includes portables; and a capacity of 440 without portables. A school closure would leave as much as an estimated 172 capacity with portables. Without portables, the largest student capacity is 106.
If Vinland were closed, class sizes would have to increase to accommodate 63 students.
— Megan Stephenson contributed to this report.