Look at How Strongsville is Shrinking
Projections say city's population, school enrollment will decline every year
It used to be a given that Strongsville's population would top 50,000.
The late Mayor Walter Ehrnfelt used to talk about it all the time, and most people just rounded up to 50,000 when they talked about Strongsville's residents.
Now? Looks like it's not going to happen.
While U.S. Census figures show Strongsville did gain a few residents -- about 852, the numbers indicate -- between 2000 and 2010, it will be downhill from here, estimates say.
By 2022, the school district will have almost 1,000 fewer students than it does today, a report commissioned by the Strongsville Schools says.
The study by DeJong-Healy says school enrollment will decline every year for the next 10 years, dropping from 6,223 students in 2011-12 to 5,276 in the 2021-22 school year.
There were 2,126 students at Strongsville High School this year, but in a decade, there will only be 1,629.
The graduating class of 2022? Only 392, compared with 465 this year. Kindergartners, though, will stay the same -- 319 this year and 318 a decade from now.
Citywide, the study puts Strongville's population at 41,756 in 2016 -- a major decline from today's 44,750.
School officials are using the study, published in May, as a guide as they plan the district's future.
A facilities task force has recommended against expanding the high school, citing the enrollment projections, and suggests reducing the number of elementary schools from the current seven to five.
School enrollment here peaked between 2003 and 2005, with a graduating class in 2004 of 540 and total enrollment in 2004-05 at 7,189 students.
That reflected the rampant growth here in the 1980s and '90s. Most of Cleveland's suburbs have seen population and school enrollment even off or decline in the last decade, reflecting, in part, a national trend toward smaller families.
The DeJong-Healy study says it used live birth data, historical enrollment numbers, community demographics, housing data and community school enrollment to come up with the projections.