To cope with an enrollment increase that area educators called "out of control," the Glendale Board of Education has approved plans for a major addition to one school and hired an architectural firm to study the feasibility of adding classrooms to two others.
Board members voted unanimously last week to allocate $2.28 million for a 20-classroom addition to Horace Mann Elementary School, approved the construction design and instructed staff to solicit bids for the two-story project.
Board members also voted to allocate $10,000 to add Jefferson Elementary School and Hoover High School to a feasibility study on expanding a number of schools. Commissioned in November, the study by Glendale architects Charles Walton Associates will also consider expansions of John Marshall and Mark Keppel elementary schools and Toll Junior High School.
After several years of decline, enrollment in Glendale schools increased sharply over the past year, said James T. McGlashen, director of testing and evaluation for the district. There were 21,581 students in the school district on Dec. 4, an increase of 875 students over the same date in 1986.
Virtually all that increase is in the southern and central part of the district, where new apartment buildings are opening rapidly, McGlashen said.
Twelve of the district's 19 schools have shown major enrollment increases in the past two years, McGlashen said. All 12 are south of the Verdugo Mountains.
'It's Gone Bananas'
"Enrollment has gone out of control; it's just gone bananas," McGlashen said. "This is all due, we think, to the fact that we're getting youngsters in the schools out of apartments, which we never did before.
"It used to take five years before a new apartment building would generate a significant number of youngsters, but now we're seeing 25 youngsters out of a single building right away."
There are now 15 portable classrooms on the Mann campus, five on the front lawn, said Steve Carey, district director of business services. The others are gradually encroaching on playground space, he said.
"The kids just aren't getting enough room to play," Carey said. "We're growing and the schools are expandable to a certain point, but you finally reach a point where you just can't add any more space to the school."
The portable classrooms will be dismantled when the new addition is built, leaving the school with a net gain of five classrooms, Carey said.
In a report to the school board, Wayland Parsons, consultant for the district business office, said the district would begin to ask for bids on the Mann addition Tuesday and should award contracts by early February. Construction could begin within a month after that and would take about a year, the report said.