Brentsville still overcrowded

Brentsville District High School remained the most overcrowded high school in Prince William County this year, but enrollment is slightly lower than school officials projected.

As of Oct. 1, the date school officials took their official fall enrollment counts, 1,532 students were enrolled in Brentsville.

That’s about 400 more students than the Nokesville school was built for, but about 50 fewer students than school officials projected would enroll this year.

“The good news is we were prepared for worse,” Director of Planning David Beavers said in a presentation to the Prince William County School Board last week.

The school’s current enrollment puts it at 138 percent capacity. School officials had projected enrollment to reach 1,580 students this year, putting the school at 142 percent capacity.

The school divison’s second most crowded high school is also on the western end of the county. Battlefield High School, in the Haymarket area, has about 500 more students this year than it was built for, putting it at 124.6 percent capacity. The school was built for 2,053 students and has an enrollment of 2,558, as of Oct. 1.

School officials said that both schools will see relief in 2011, when another western high school, in the Kettle Run area, is expected to open.

The overcrowding at Brentsville drew public attention in May, when the Prince William County Planning Commission voted to deny the School Board’s request to place seven additional trailers at the school.

The Board of County Supervisors overturned that decision in June, allowing the additional trailers.

This year, Brentsville has 13 classroom trailers. Battlefield, which is larger, has no classroom trailers.

After the additional trailers at Brentsville were approved, school officials agreed to allow parents who were concerned about overcrowding to voluntarily transfer their students to Stonewall Jackson High School in the Manassas area.

About 10 students took advantage of that offer this year, school spokeswoman Irene Cromer said.