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County teems with new residents

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Johnson County’s growing population means more homes being built, more children in the local schools and more traffic on the streets.

The county attracted 1,090 new residents since 2010 and is the fourth-fastest-growing county in central Indiana.

The Johnson County population increased from 139,654 residents in 2010 to 145,535 in 2013, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The growth is reflected in home construction and school enrollment, local officials said.

The population has grown by about 4 percent. That growth rate trails only Hamilton, Boone and Hendricks counties.

Part of the population growth includes younger families with school-age children, Clark-Pleasant schools spokesman Cameron Rains said. The school district’s population grew by 56 percent from 2003 to 2013. Its growth rate in recent years is now in line with the recent overall county growth trend, he said.

“For us, they mirror each other in a lot of ways,” he said.

Clark-Pleasant’s kindergarten and first-grade classes are where school officials are seeing the most growth, reflecting the increase in younger families, he said.

This year, for example, Clark-Pleasant’s 12th-grade enrollment is 457 students. Its kindergarten class has 521 students, and first grade has 502 students. The number of students enrolled in today’s kindergarten class is expected to grow between now and when those students reach the 12th grade, Rains said.

The school district will need more classroom space for those students as they get to the intermediate school and high school. In the fall, Clark-Pleasant Intermediate School was already 99 students shy of the building’s capacity.

Retail developments, such as the Walmart and shopping centers on Emerson Avenue in Greenwood, and the county’s rapid population growth have increased traffic in recent years.

Homebuilding is on the rise, too.

In the parts of the county outside the cities and towns, builders planned to construct 180 new single-family homes in 2013, up by about

26 percent compared with 2010. Much of that construction has been in the Center Grove area, in neighborhoods such as Hickory Stick.

“I’m sure it’s the population growth that’s driving the new construction,” county planning and zoning director David Hittle said.

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