We may be seeing more schools built in the future. That's because thousands more students are enrolling in Bakersfield City elementary schools.
Bakersfield City School District said this year's enrollment is higher than ever with about 700 more kids just this year. District officials think the increase is a sign of a better economy as more people move to Bakersfield for jobs.
Compared to the 2007-2008 school year there are about 1,200 new kindergarteners and about 1,000 more first graders. In total more than 4,200 new elementary students and it's all happened in the last four years in Bakersfield mostly on the east and southeast parts of town.
"Based on our research and what we found we're looking at kindergarten through third grade having the greatest number," said Roger Sanchez, Director of Research and Planning for the Kern High School District.
The Kern High School District tracks Bakersfield area elementary and junior high enrollment so they can plan ahead.
According to their records after an enrollment increase in 08, the number of students remained steady at about 37,000.
But with a big elementary class coming in they're anticipating enrollment to skyrocket up to about 40,000 students in the 2019-2020 school year and nearly 45,000 in the 2022-2023 school year.
"We're still feeling like we are about 4 to 5 years out before we build another school," said Sanchez.
The Bakersfield City School District is boasting their highest enrollment ever this year about 29,000 students building two new schools on the east side to accommodate.
"We're looking at our future and demographics and we're looking at those numbers and having the need to open those schools for that purpose," said Robert Arias, Superintendent of the Bakersfield City School District.
So why are there more students? District officials say it's a sign of an improving economy.
"Bakersfield is a great city and I think a lot of people move here with opportunities to purchase homes and make careers so you have a influx of young families," said Sanchez.
"We're in a much better place to have to deal with the challenges of growth than decline," said Arias.
Golden Valley and Arvin High Schools are expected to see the biggest increase in enrollment.