In preparation for the wave of residential growth about to sweep the North Valley near Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s silicon chip plant under construction, Deer Valley Unified School District is putting the plans in motion to build another high school and an elementary school.
With more than 4,000 new multifamily units in the construction pipeline along the I-17 corridor (the majority east of the freeway between Sonoran Desert Drive and Dove Valley Road), DVUSD’s most recent demographer’s report shows projected student enrollment growth east of I-17 is anticipated through fiscal years 2026-2027. Then, growth will shift to the west side of I-17 through fiscal years 2031-2032.
Existing school capacity has been an ongoing struggle in the Norterra area. Just last year, DVUSD added four classrooms at both Sonoran Foothills and Union Park. Even with those additions, both schools are expected to exceed capacity in the immediate future, along with Stetson Hills.
At the high school level, Barry Goldwater is projected to become the largest of DVUSD’s
high schools by 2027.
Additionally, school enrollment is not equally distributed between schools, suggesting boundary changes might be necessary within the next year or so in order to balance enrollment.
Future School Locations
For years, DVUSD has held a reservation with the State Land Department for a future high school near I-17 and Jomax Road, but with the close proximity of that site to Sandra Day O’Connor High and the shift in the city’s growth plans, DVUSD Deputy Superintendent of Fiscal Services, Jim Migliorino, told Valley Vibe, “We’re advocating to forgo the I-17 and Jomax [site reservation] if we could get a usable 60-plus acre parcel south of the 303 Freeway and west of I-17.”
Regarding a timeline for the high school, Migliorino said at a recent District Governing Board meeting, “I can’t say it’d be necessary to build in 2028-2029, as it will depend on residential development, but by all indications, we will be building a new high school—it’s not if—but when.”
As for the elementary school, a location has not been pinned down either, but Migliorino speculated, “We think it will be in the area near the TSMC plant.” Based on the district’s projections, the school is not expected to be needed until 2027.
Meantime, DVUSD will continue to monitor the student yield that comes from the multifamily and other residential projects in the pipeline. He said multifamily residential has historically been a lower student yield in terms of number of students per dwelling unit compared to single-family residential, but that dynamic has been changing due to the housing market and more families with school-age kids electing for a multifamily dwelling unit.
By Karen Goveia