High Schools to Expand as District Grows
Ankeny Schools grows by 200-300 students each year. While many of these students are entering the district at the elementary level, the growth has made its way through the system requiring a solution at the secondary level.
The demographer predicts that Ankeny’s secondary system will be over-capacity in 2022. Based on anticipated enrollment numbers, Ankeny Schools will expand the two high school buildings- Ankeny High School and Ankeny Centennial High School- increasing each of them from 1,400 student capacity to 1,860 in time for the 2021-2022 school year. Adding onto both high schools was a part of the original plan when both schools were built.
Construction will begin this summer with completion anticipated by fall 2021. Currently, the district is working with high school administrators, general education teachers, special education teachers, P.E. teachers, and the athletic directors to ensure the expansions meet the growing needs of our student body. It is important to note that both high schools will receive the exact same addition as determined by the user groups.
As the district continues to consider facility needs and growth, it is important not only to take into consideration the cost of construction, but also the cost of staffing an entire building. This plan allows the district to meet the established educational standards through a fiscally sound strategy. We continue to plan and strategize how to best address growth in our district, while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars in Ankeny.
At this time, we have not purchased land for a third high school. The demographer’s work indicates a 10-12 grade building will not be required until after 2030. While that seems some ways off, within the next few years a task force will be formed to begin the visioning process to determine the type of school of the next 10-12 grade building. As a community, the Board will want to consider our options: Do we replicate what we currently have in our two high school buildings or do we consider other options like a school focused on science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics (STEAM), a magnet school, or something entirely different? In 10 years, the structured learning environment for high school will be very different, and this will need to be part of the decision-making process as we plan to accommodate the district’s growth at the secondary level.