Census reveals Monroe Schools’ overcrowding, other communities’ gains and losses

No community grew to a larger degree in Butler County in the decade from 2010 and 2020 than the city of Monroe, according to just released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Monroe school officials say they have seen the residential growth up close as enrollment has also expanded, forcing the school system to use all available spaces for learning in recent years. (File Photo/Journal-News)
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No community grew to a larger degree in Butler County in the decade from 2010 and 2020 than the city of Monroe, according to just released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Monroe school officials say they have seen the residential growth up close as enrollment has also expanded, forcing the school system to use all available spaces for learning in recent years. (File Photo/Journal-News)

When the latest census data on Butler County population growth was recently released, the figures were already old news to the Monroe Schools’ superintendent.

The surrounding city of Robert Buskirk’s Monroe school system – along the eastern border of Butler County next to Interstate 75 – had the biggest jump in residential population from 2010 to 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Monroe had nearly a 24 percent increase – the largest increase among all county communities.

And the growing population has been reflected for some years in Monroe’s shrinking school spaces, said Buskirk.

“Monroe has had steady growth and our buildings are becoming more and more crowded. Our high school administration has been very creative in finding solutions to our lack of space but we are utilizing every room in the building, even rooms like the media center to house classes on a daily basis,” he said.

The census information also revealed a number of other fast-growing communities in Butler County as well as those who lost residents.

ExploreCensus: All Butler cities saw 10-year growth, led by Monroe, Trenton, Oxford

Monroe saw its number of residents go from 12,442 in 2010 to 15,412 in 2020.

Liberty Twp., which is one of two townships feeding into the 16,800-student Lakota school system, had the second largest percentage in population uptick with an 18.1 percent increase. The township had 43,999 residents in 2020.

Overall, Butler County saw its total population expand by 6 percent, going from 368,130 to 390,357 residents, according to the census.

Other notable increases include 6.4 percent in West Chester Twp., which remained the county’s most populous community in 2020 at 64,830 residents. The city of Hamilton was second that year in residential population with 63,999 – a 1.5 percent jump from 2010.

Also recording among the highest percentages of growth was the city of Trenton at 9.7 percent and the city of Oxford at 7.8 percent and surrounding Oxford Twp. at 6.3 percent.

Communities showing the sharpest decreases in population included the already small rural communities of Jacksonburg (12.7 percent drop), Millville (10.5 percent) and Seven Mile (5.2 percent).

Monroe Schools have gone from 2,799 students in 2017 to 2,965 last month when classes started for the new school year. And school officials predict the growth in the community will continue.

ExploreMonroe school leader: Meet the new supers locally as classes start

Buskirk said: “Growth is always positive because it means that we are an attractive place to live. Monroe is a great community with a strong school district. With that being said, the rate at which Monroe is growing definitely presents challenges.”