Supt. Victor Mercurio told School Committee members enrollment is up in East Greenwich schools – 2,425 as of this week, up from 2,393 last year – at a meeting Tuesday night at Cole Middle School.
Both figures exceed the enrollment projection of 2,385 students offered by NESDEC, the New England Development Council, for the 2012-13 school year.
Mercurio said after the meeting he thought the new Cole Middle School and renovated EG High School were part of the reason. He noted that East Greenwich High School has nearly 800 students enrolled this year, up from 768 in 2010-11.
School Committee Chairwoman Deidre Gifford said the still-stagnant economy could also be a reason for the increasing enrollment, with some families opting to use taxpayer-funded public schools instead of tuition-based private schools.
Mercurio also updated the committee on the opening of Meadowbrook Farms last week. After what Mercurio called "herculean" efforts by custodians, teachers, and administrators, Meadowbrook opened on time for the first day of school Wednesday.
The building had been under construction since school let out in June, with installation of new flooring, a new roof, and a new ventilation system, all to combat an intransigent moisture problem that's plagued the school since it opened.
Mercurio gave particular praise to custodian Bob Coutu and the rest of the EG custodians who showed up that last day to help push the progress over the finish line. He also noted the work of brand new Meadowbrook principal Neil Marcacchio and all the teachers at Meadowbrook, who had only three days to whip their classrooms into shape.
"It truly was a herculean," he said. "That amount of work in that amount of time … I just have not seen that before."
Mercurio did note they were still waiting on marker boards and portable bookcases, and that heating systems would be installed in the coming weeks. Installation, he said, would happen after school or on weekends.