Paul Duke STEM High, the newest Gwinnett school, had an attendance of 614 students, nearly 200 less than anticipated.
The school system has a high school and a middle school scheduled to open in the Meadowcreek Cluster in 2019.
The yet-to-be-named high school, which is under construction at the intersection of Club Drive and Steve Reynolds Boulevard, is expected to be 300,000 square feet and accommodate 1,500 students.
School administrators have said that current overcrowding and projected increased enrollment make the schools a necessity.
The overall population in the county increased by 16,700 residents — the second-most people of any metro Atlanta community last year, pushing its total population over 900,000 for the first time, according to population estimates released in August. That represented more than 20 percent of the total population growth in the 10-county Atlanta region and trailed only Fulton County’s estimated boost of 17,570 residents.
Gwinnett’s total estimated population is now 910,700.
Gwinnett school officials couldn’t say why school enrollment isn’t increasing the way overall population is.
“Approximately one in five Gwinnett County residents are a student in our school system today … and that has been the case for a number of years,” Roach said. “Obviously, there are a number of factors that go into developing our projections and our Planning Department has a very strong history of consistently being very close to the mark. This is extremely
helpful as we calculate our need for teachers and other resources based on these numbers.”