If you have a child enrolled in a school in the Tri-Cities, you likely know the district is bursting at the seams.
There may be no better proof of this than a quick look at School District 43's five-year capital plan.
The district is now the third biggest in the province and the list of either new schools needed, or current schools needing additions is extensive.
Minnekhada Middle in Port Coquitlam needs to be replaced.
Glen Elementary, which opened just three years ago, and Panorama Heights Elementary in Coquitlam both need additions.
And at the top of that list is a new elementary school for the growing community of Burke Mountain. A 350-student school is needed immediately for the area.
There are more than 30 projects on the capital-plan list.
The five-year plan, which was adopted by the school board on Oct. 2, includes projects adding up to $376 million. But under the Ministry of Education process, it will be two years before the district can even begin to address the top priorities on its list.
District superintendent Tom Grant suggested a number of schools in Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam will be under enrolment pressure for the time being, especially in the Burke Mountain area.
He suggested one option in the meantime could be a boundary review, a measure used in the past.
"We may have to look at that same process near Burke Mountain to make sure schools don't get quite as crowded as they would," Grant said.
"However, unless we get elementary sites up there, you're going to get schools with portables and crowding even with boundary reviews."
Board chair Melissa Hyndes said the population crunch isn't new for the district, adding School District 43 has taken steps to be innovative with its capital plan to see what it can do to generate revenue on its own. Currently, the district is considering selling off two pieces of land at a pair of Coquitlam elementary schools to be turned into single-family lots.
Though Hyndes suggested the district has been fortunate in the last decade with the funding it has received from the province for capital projects, she contends the district is still behind and needs the new buildings now.
"We need the facilities to put the kids in," she said.
And she seemed cool to the idea of a boundary review, noting a review hasn't been discussed nor is it on the board's radar.
It doesn't look like the boom in population is about to settle anytime soon.
Each year, the province requires the board to pass what's called an annual school sites resolution and study, which ultimately estimates the number of students, the general location and number of sites required for future schools.
The 2012 study, based on information provided by the three Tri-Cities local governments, noted there will be 20,935 new development units constructed in the district in the next 10 years, which will be home to more than 4,000 school-aged students.
The study suggested the district would require six new school sites in that period, which, when including the purchase of land, could top the $50-million mark.
Enrolment numbers for the 2012-13 school year are expected to be released at the end of October.