Also at the SRC: 75 percent use of properties by '11-12 is possible, district says

Here's a little nugget of news from the SRC: the district expects to reach up to 75 percent utilization of their buildings by next school year if they stay on the course outlined in their Facilities Master plan.

That plan - which includes grade changes (from 25 groupings to four), school consolidations, the selling of properties and lease terminations - seeks to rid the district of 50 of their buildings, bringing them to a roughly 85 percent utilization rate. They are currently at about 67 percent. While the district plans to close no schools this September, they will continue to invest in fixing up its older buildings that are not beyond repair. 

The district estimated they have roughly 70,000 empty seats in schools across the district and have imposed a moratorium on construction that would create additional seats.

The district held several meetings to gauge the community on their proposal. Danielle Floyd, of the Superintendent's Office, said that the policies have undergone numerous changes as a result. A right-sizing package should be presented to the School Reform Commission by October.

The district has given themselves three years to fulfill the goal. The district has already lost 11,000 students in the last five years. Officials project losing 10,000 more by 2014.