More classrooms should be available at Fairfield Ludlowe High School by the start of the 2016 academic year, pending zoning approval.

The $11.6 million plan to renovate and expand the Unquowa Road school went before the Town Plan and Zoning Commission for public hearing last week that drew no comments or questions from the public. The commission did not vote on the zoning application.

The project calls for building a 8,900-square-foot addition to Webster House to provide four general-use classrooms and two new science laboratories. Another 3,500-square-foot addition would be built on the cafeteria.

"It's not large," John Fallon, the lawyer representing he school district, told the zoning board. "But it's extremely important in making sure we continue to have the flexibility to meet the needs of the student population."

The school building's capacity is 1,400 students, according to school officials, and the current enrollment is 1,531. It is expected to be 20 percent over capacity in the 2016-17 academic year.

"These young men and women are in the school system now," Fallon said.

Joe Costa, of Perkins Eastman, the architectural firm hired for the Ludlowe project, said there is a "desperate need" to get the project underway so construction on the classrooms can be finished by the end of next summer. "We'd like to start construction during Christmas break of this year," he said.

"We're overcrowded now," FLHS Headmaster Greg Hatzis said, noting that this year, for the first time, a science class was assigned to a non-science classroom.