(News Bulletin file photo)

(News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo school district headed toward 26-per cent overcapacity in next 10 years

Using B.C. Assessment and municipal stats, consultant projects more than 18,300 students in 2030

Enrolment has been trending up after years of declining numbers and Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district is projecting a surge of students in the next decade.

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is projecting 14,360 full-time students estimated for 2021-22 and 14,845 in 2022-23, based on the district’s regular projection methods. However, that could skyrocket, as a long-term enrolment report from a consultant forecasts the district being 26 per cent overcapacity in 2030-31 with 18,383 students.

Aaron Licker, principal at Licker Geospatial Consultants, told school trustees at the February business committee meeting that the company used urban growth and housing preference to project student population.

“We used the trends from historic residence data to develop a reasonable forecast of student occupancies,” said Licker. “We know, for every dwelling type, how many students live in each one of those.”

He said overall there are about 0.2 students per single-family dwelling in the district, “so for every five houses, one student.”

When asked about the Island’s reputation as a retirement destination and whether data suggested any changing demographics, Licker said there was nothing substantive to report.

“What we found was the number of students in relation to the number of dwellings was going up, so what does that mean? Obviously, you’re seeing more children per dwelling in the community,” said Licker. “We also saw that the number of children per new dwelling was going up as well, which again suggests that if someone built something new a family’s going to fill it.”

He said recently released data from Statistics Canada shows that 95-100 per cent of population growth in the Nanaimo area is driven by intra- and inter-provincial migration.

“People are moving to Nanaimo like crazy right now,” he said.

In terms of existing population, there are more deaths than births currently, according to Licker, which “is being well offset by people moving to the community.”

Bayview Elementary School is currently 20 per cent under capacity, according to the report, and predicted to be 55 per cent overcapacity come 2030-31. Licker said the City of Nanaimo is projecting “gigantic growth” in downtown core neighbourhoods.

“There’ll be a lot of in-fill development in that area,” he said. “We aren’t forecasting a lot of high-rise apartments in some of those inner-core neighbourhoods and as a result, because we’re going to produce nice ground-oriented development or secondary suites, we’re going to see a lot more kids coming out of those.”

B.C. Assessment, school district staff and staff from municipalities within the district assisted in the report.

RELATED: SD68 predicts enrolment rebounding from COVID-19

RELATED: Upgrading NDSS priority in SD68 facilities plan


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Imogene Lim, a Vancouver Island University anthropology professor, has received a Province of B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship. (Black Press file)
VIU anthropology professor receives B.C. Good Citizenship medal

Imogene Lim’s work includes advocacy for establishing Chinese heritage sites

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Photo courtesy Dan Wood)
PHOTOS: Saanich firefighters free trapped workers at Uptown Walmart

Incident reported as explosion after driver rammed through wall

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

Rape culture puts the onus on survivors rather than perpetrators.	(THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo/Darren Calabrese)
Explainer: What is rape culture and what does it look like on Vancouver Island?

A rise in online sexual assault allegations prompts conversation

John Ambrose Seward, 33, is described as Indigenous and five-foot-eight with short black hair and brown eyes. (Police handout)
John Ambrose Seward, 33, is described as Indigenous and five-foot-eight with short black hair and brown eyes. (Police handout)
High-risk sex offender banned from central Island, living in Vancouver: police

John Ambrose Seward, 33, has been released from prison under a number of conditions

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Saanich police are investigating after a small dog was mauled and their was owner bitten in Mount Douglas Park by a large, off-leash dog April 6. (Photo via the Saanich Police Department)
UPDATED: Pup put down after being mauled by large, off-leash dog in Saanich park

Owner turned themself in after incident at Mount Doug Park

Don Bonner, RDN board director, left, Tyler Brown, RDN board chairperson, and Sean De Pol, RDN director of water and wastewater services, at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre April 6. (Shawn Wagar photo)
Nanaimo’s $82-million pollution control centre upgrade now complete

Wastewater treatment enhanced at RDN’s Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre

The CRD is working on a solid waste management plan to reduce the amount of material sent to Hartland Landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
No time to waste: Greater Victoria closes in on plan for garbage

CRD board to consider final draft solid waste management plan in May

Ryan Rasmussen goes on a training run on Quadra Island. Photo supplied.
Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

‘I feel like I need to be in pain to raise the money… I can’t do something that’s easy’ — Ryan Rasmussen

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Most Read