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Published February 27, 2013, 09:32 PM

Harwood Elementary is close to capacity and continues to fill up

Harwood, ND (WDAY TV) -- Space is becoming an issue at Harwood Elementary. Tonight, the West Fargo Public School board met to discuss how to solve the problem.

Harwood, ND (WDAY TV) -- Space is becoming an issue at Harwood Elementary. Tonight, the West Fargo Public School board met to discuss how to solve the problem.

Right now this school holds about 140 students and that's at capacity. This year, there's already more than 100, and in years to come, they expect that number to explode.

Kaye Fischer: "When I started here, most of our tracks were like the one track where we had one of each grade level."

In just the last few years, primary classes, kindergarten through third grade have nearly doubled. This presents problems for teachers like Mrs. Fischer.

Kaye Fischer: "The one thing that's challenging is for our phy-ed and music classes. They need to put the students together and so, they are a lot larger. And our spaces aren't real large."

Each year, more and more families are drawn to the flood-protected areas.

By next fall, West Fargo Public Schools predicts 821 new students will enter kindergarten, that includes the already cramped Harwood Elementary.

Jerry Barnum/Harwood Principal: "our concern is our growing population."

These hallways, classrooms and even the lunchroom are sitting alright, for now. But if trends continue the school will fill up fast.

Barnum: "when you split them it becomes a class of 15 and 16 which is kind of unusual for our school district."

School board officials kicked around ideas. Adding on seemed to be a popular pick. Another idea? Team teaching a packed classroom of 30 or more.

Barnum: "What is the future for Harwood? Is there going to be more growth? Should the school be expanded if not now, when? "

Harwood's principal thought waiting was another option. But members questioned, how long, especially since the bustling city continues to grow.

Harwood isn't the only school with this problem. Four other schools are already over capacity within the district. But the board says they have some homework to do before making a decision.

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