The slow but steady reduction in school enrollment along with the underutilization of our school facilities is significant evidence of this evolving shift.
Our changing demography can also be seen in the kind of redevelopment process and in the home occupancy that is being reflected in an increase in mature households, smaller-sized families and families without children in the household. Many of these families have adult children that are off to college.
The increasing cost of land in Shorewood supported by the expensive high grade maintenance and upscale upgrading of pricey homes and the rising cost of new construction has resulted in the development of condominiums for upper income living and mostly for people without children.
The increasing need for living accommodations for colleges students at our growing institution next door will not be satiated in Shorewood, especially at the cost level of apartment living here.
Recent approval of an “assisted living for elderly” project will add a couple of hundred elderly and more who have never lived here before. Although this new group may not be as active within the community they will become part of the resident count and perhaps part of the voting population.
There is no evidence that there will be any significant increase in the youngest segment of our population for the next two decades. We need to concentrate on the impact of this developing, changing situation.
Therefore, our focus in terms of population growth and the character of our planning for the future will have to place a stronger emphasis on social services and those needs required by an older residency as we shift more toward an aging population. What is this going to mean for Shorewood's future culture?
Shorewood”s Connecting Caring Communities Partnership is already beginning to instill some changes, such as senior parking spaces in our commercial area and even stepping up intergenerational activities within our school system.
These are all signs of times. And both our School District and Village Hall need to do more than merely take active notice. We need to anticipate the impact and learn how it can improve our way of life here in our village.