TEMPERANCE - Bedford Public Schools has announced a plan to redraw the boundary of two of its elementary school districts in response to the construction of a large subdivision in what previously had been a sparsely populated area of the township.
Bedford Superintendent Jon White said the district will be taking elementary students who live along a two-mile long stretch of Crabb and West Sterns roads from the Jackman Road Elementary district and into the Smith Road Elementary district.
The impacted areas are the west side of Crabb between Sterns and Dean Road, and the north side of Sterns between Crabb and Lewis Avenue. In all, the switch affects just four families along those roads, plus the residents of the newly-built Prairie Woods subdivision, under construction on the north side of Sterns, just west of Lewis.
Bedford Township officials said Prairie Woods - being built by Comanche Development, comprised of local builders William Decker, Jr., and Forrester-Wehrle Homes - has 63 houses platted and/or under construction and another 104 planned in later plats.
Mr. White said the new subdivision "is the reason we're doing it. It's going to be a large subdivision, so in an effort to anticipate some of the overcrowding at Jackman [Road Elementary], we're changing that two-mile stretch of boundary."
The redistricting move, announced late last week, is expected to be ratified by the Bedford Board of Education this evening during its regular monthly meeting.
It will be the first elementary redistricting done by Bedford since it opened Monroe Road Elementary in August 2001. But it may not be the last, Mr. White said. Continued growth in certain areas of Bedford Township has stretched resources at some schools like Temperance Road and Monroe Road, while other buildings have empty classrooms.
Mr. White said district officials "want to avoid wholesale redistricting" that would be needed if they failed to respond to the spot overcrowding caused by large-scale developments.
They may have their work cut out for them in the coming years. Bedford Township officials said there are 235 single-family houses in already-platted subdivisions slated for construction in the coming months, along with another 74 single-family condominium units on the books.
Those numbers do not include any development that might take place on the former Albring farmland outside Temperance, where developers have proposed more a subdivision of more than 430 new houses.