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Watford City’s enrollment is up

WATFORD CITY, N.D. — School enrollment in North Dakota’s fastest-growing small town has grown by 19 percent since May.

Enrollment in the McKenzie County School District, based in Watford City, increased by 255 students since the end of the 2013-14 school year, Superintendent Steve Holen said Wednesday.

The school district has about 1,330 students in grades K-12, Holen said, with more expected to arrive after Labor Day. Watford City started last year with about 1,020 students, he said.

The superintendent said the district’s facilities are at capacity and students have overflowed into six modular classrooms and labs. Schools are using space set aside for storage and the teacher’s lounge at the elementary school.

Holen said the district believed it would reach this many students by the 2015-16 school year.

School district voters overwhelmingly approved a bond initiative in March to build a new high school in Watford City. The school is tentatively scheduled to be open by the second semester of 2015-16, Holen said.

This year’s initial enrollment is nearly double what it was heading into the 2011-12 school year, when the district opened the year with about 700 students. In 2007-08, the district had 512 students.

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