The Dead Zone Outside the Window


The the constriction site of the new Ames High School. Picture taken by Erin Murphy.

Whether the community of Ames High has noticed this or not, there is currently something outside our classroom windows, a new and, possibly, reformed future Ames High waiting for the next generation to experience.

  There isn’t anything wrong about polishing a school or extending the place to become a wider and bigger school for a larger student body amount. But the thing is, what we need is a secondary school, not another nice looking one. It is understandable to reconstruct the school, but it wouldn’t decrease the number of students coming to Ames High. The reason why overpopulation should be our biggest concern when it comes to this subject. It’ll soon cause more effects upon the school community, it’s students and teachers, education, and facilities, if we can’t provide more schools for pre-teens, then these problems will escalate.

The more families that come, the more children that’ll participate in Ames School District.

Ames is a diverse community, not with overwhelming numbers to be compared to, but most are caused by Iowa State University. It says so on “Iowa State University New Services: Iowa State University enrollment reflects land-grant mission” that; “The student body represents all 99 Iowa counties and all 50 U.S. states (plus Washington, D.C.; Guam; Puerto Rico; the Virgin Islands and the Mariana Islands), as well as 115 countries. It’s also more diverse – 15.3 percent of undergrads are multicultural students”  It all came from the university itself that attracts many to study at their college, having vasts of cultural individuals.

This leads up to the bigger the enrollment of the college, the more they will flood the town. Having this rate be embarked on higher results since 2006, it says on “Iowa State University New Service; Iowa State University fall enrollment soars to a record 28,682 students.” that; “Total U.S. minority and international enrollments are 5,942 students or 20.7 percent of the student body. (Last fall, total international + U.S. minority enrollment was 5,550 students or 19.9 percent of total enrollment.) U.S. minority enrollment is 2,615 (9.12 percent of total enrollment), a new record and an increase over last fall’s 2,532 students. Each year since 2006, Iowa State has met or exceeded the 8.5 percent minority  enrollment goal set by the Iowa Board of Regents.”

And since that time it kept increasing more throughout the years to this present day. Which has challenged the state school board to keep track of this record-breaking number of students entering college, ever since? Even Marc Harding, the director of admissions in 2010, admitted in the article; “Harding acknowledges that sustaining new student enrollment at this level could be challenging, given the demographics (a declining number of high school students in Iowa and the Midwest), and increased competition for those students.”

Which isn’t bad, but it affects more on how Ames have to consider to make it comfortable for them to stay. Especially when there isn’t much space for them to stay at, considering their college intuition costs up to $7,456 per year. That doesn’t include supplies that are close to $1,000, fees that are around $1,200, and room/board $8,540 for the first years in which altogether is about $9,540. And they continued for four years, it’ll cost about $24,275. 

Making Ames housing is affordable in the process,  in an article called “Ames housing more affordable than some studies show” a professor in economics at Iowa University named Peter Orazem,  acknowledges that “using individual incomes to determine affordability in places such as Ames or Iowa City does not show the true value of homes in the area. Orazem said that’s because more than half of the population in Ames are students who may have little to no income.” 

But also him stating: “‘Rather than (using that) if you used our median family income, which is not quite double, but pretty close, we would look a lot more like Sioux City, ‘ Orazem said. ‘Because we’re a college town, they are exaggerating the problem.'”

“now, the university has 1,500 fewer students than its peak student enrollment, and prices for rentals, at least, are going down. ‘In the last two years, when (enrollment is) declining, new apartment units were going up,’ Livingston said. ‘There was an increased supply, but a decreased demand, so that should lead to a reduction in price.'”

  This proves a lot of things when it comes to fewer students being in the town, and how with fewer students there would be cheaper housing around the area. Which can bring more customers looking for an accessible home. This is how more families come into Ames, a small town that has nothing more but to provide for their living. Not only that but including section 8 apartments and family facilities, most families would stay in need of help for themselves to be able to live and raise their children. And since the more families that come, the more children that’ll participate in Ames School District. 

Two out of the five of our elementary schools are over the average Iowa student body in public schools.

It says clearly in “Niche: Ames Community School District.” statics that two out of the five of our elementary schools are over the average Iowa student body in public schools, which is 396 students per public school. 

As Fellows Elementary leading with 525 students and Meeker Elementary having 477 students, the rest such as Edward Elementary having 342, Sawyer Elementary having 315, and Kate Mitchell Elementary having 291 students. 

But for our junior high having 996 students, which the average in the United States is 595 and in lowa being 330, it’s currently the second most populated in the community. Compare to our high school, for it’s recording ended during 2016-2017 with the student amount of 1,277. 

There still isn’t an exact amount, but estimating the students in the school since then to now, is about 1,300-1,500 students in the school. Which also surpasses Iowa’s average of 428 students in high school and the United States average of 752.