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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 -- 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 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 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.

John Palmer July 11, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I would hope the school board takes a serious look at these figures before deciding to spend money on funding a new voter drive. A wish list for a more modern middle school has to be weighed against economic reality. A serious remodeling of one or both of the existing facilities might be more feasible than tearing down or abandoning them and that should be done some time down the pike when the voters have jobs that allow them to think they can afford a new levy.
TSW July 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Execellent points made by Mr Palmer. I might add that in addition to the above, given the continued economic recession conditions, and glaring school budget deficits (increasing) next few years- that current STRS contract negotiations should yield millions of long over due concessions (health care and termination of pension pick ups). Ending pension pick ups and the corresponding pay roll tax dollars spent on them + increasing health care contributions to say 35% (vs 9-11%) would save nearly $5 million per year. And instead of simply "laying off employees" or "cutting programs"---both of which hurt the students--embrace something new like across the board paycuts to avoid cutting staff and/or programs. This has happened many times in private sector the past few years. People have been happy to take a pay cut to keep their jobs. STRS- it is time to join the real world.Rubber stamping of tax levies is ancient history.
Richard July 11, 2012 at 02:34 PM
In a bit of a twist on the school levies, what about taxes in general? I have asked our congressmen about taxes and get the typical rhetorical answers. Speaking as a retiree, we have pretty much decided that we can no longer afford to live here. We love Strongsville, but the taxes are taking too much of my retirement. We can move to a more tax friendly state and pay fewer or no state income taxes at all. Florida? Not a big fan of heat, but a BIG FAN of NO STATE INCOME TAX! Even Kentucky would cost us at least 60% less in state income tax. It's not about the cold. I grew up in Ohio and have never minded the winters at all. But the taxes are limiting my retirement and we are seriously considering a change. Talk about tax breaks to keep college graduates here is very common, but it seems nobody cares if the old folks gather up their retirement checks and move out of Ohio.
MR804 July 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
What are the main reasons people are leaving Strongsville and where are they going? Are they going next door to North Royalton where the school is better or to Hinckley where taxes are lower? I am curious.
Jim Kaminski July 11, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Make sure you compare apples to apples when moving. As towns grow- which many towns in the south are still doing the needs become much differnent and then they need to raise taxes. I recently moved from Strongsville to Michigan. I pay more in taxes and receive less services- for example I have to pay for my garage pick-up montlhy. I advice you check out the fees to register a car or get a license plate in these states that don't have income taxes- they all have to pay bills in some way - it just comes from a different pot of money. That's why you need to compare everything before moving. I have lived in 4 states ( OH, MI, IL, IN) and Strongsville gave the best value for the tax dollar by far.
John Palmer July 11, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Strongsville is an excellent community to live in although we have many more folks to share it with over the recent years. Ohio's population is shrinking and states like North Carolina are jumping. Let's insist on smart government that attracts and promotes business and doesn't chase away our seniors or young college grads. This means jobs! Let's insist our government continues to make us feel we are getting value. That is more important than having the most modern facilities or the highest paid teachers or police in the state. We can get good value without having to spend beyond our means. Insist on it. We are good people in a good community! We just need to keep reminding our underpaid, and well they should be underpaid because its not their vocation, council and school board members that while it is good to dream of doing better, that they need to be realistic in the struggles of the existing citizens.
Kim L July 12, 2012 at 05:56 AM
yet they are still building houses in the city. it also does not account for new families moving into the city, its all a guessing game, and they have never been right yet

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