More than 34,000 housing units – both single family and multifamily – are projected to be built within the Katy Independent School District in the next 10 years.
That growth fueled efforts by the district to build High School 7 in the district’s southwest quadrant, which is leading to proposed secondary school zoning changes.
Tom Gunnell, Katy ISD Chief Operations Officer, said American School & University magazine listed Katy as the 67th largest school in the nation – larger than Boston, San Francisco and San Antonio. Katy ISD is the 12th largest district in the state. He said the district grew at a rate of more than 76 percent between 2000 and 2010.
“Currently, we have more than 64,000 students with projections that show that number to grow to over 111,000 when the 181 square miles of Katy ISD reaches build out,” Gunnell said.
Steady growth is expected to occur particularly in the west, northwest and southwest corridors, according to an Oct. 29 presentation to trustees by Pat Guseman of Population and Survey Analysts. She and Gunnell presented the 2012 Demographic Update.
That growth is reflected in the district’s building program. Five schools opened this school year.
Opening in fall 2013 is the $115 million High School 7 at 4400 Falcon Landing Blvd. in Katy. It will open with no less than 804 students in grades 9 and 10 – the same student population as Seven Lakes High School, 9251 S. Fry Road, when it opened in 2005. The new high school is intended to relieve crowding at Seven Lakes, which has more than 4,000 students. The school’s capacity is 3,000 students
The attendance boundary modification presented to trustees Oct. 29 would shift 31 land-use zones from Seven Lakes High to High School 7.
The zones represent the following neighborhoods: Grayson Lakes, Willow Lakes Apartments, Hawks Landing, Silver Ranch, Pine Mill, Silver Ranch (Future), Avalon at Pine Mill, Cardiff Ranch, Kings Lake, Willowfork Place, Woodlake Estates, Greenwood Grove, Indian Ridge, Indian Springs, Sage Meadow, Sierra Meadow, Spring Chase, Sterling Ridge, Sutters Way, Wellington Place, Cross Creek Ranch, Churchill Farms, Cinco Ranch Future, Pine Forest, Cedar Grove, Cedar Heights, Rollingwood, Oak Forest, Avalon at Cinco Ranch, Rollingwood and Pine Hills.
Four land-use zones are proposed to move from Katy High School to High School 7. They include Rose Lane, Bandera Glen, Sagewood, Meadow Lane, Prairie Lane and Willow Lane.
School officials also discussed elementary enrollment figures, based on October data, which indicate that several schools have reached or exceed capacity. Board members raised the issue of future consideration of the construction of new elementary schools to meet these demands.
Guseman, who has worked with the district since 1996, said a unique growth trend has emerged in Katy. This year more than 7 percent of the district’s student population is in kindergarten and this represents somewhat of a challenge, said Guseman, who attributes the trend to the average price of homes.
“This signals that younger homebuyers are improving their credit. Mortgages are difficult to obtain, but younger homebuyers are buying at a greater rate, but in Texas especially,” she said. “It is a very unique characteristic and will be felt for the next 12 years because every bulge is always going to be important for every year that follows.”
To view the full demographic update and ABM option, visit the “Attendance Boundary Modification” page at www.katyisd.org.
To provide public input over the preliminary ABM option, community members may complete an online survey at https://s.zoomerang.com/s/hs7abmsurvey, call 281-396-2114, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information will be gathered through Nov. 13 and is expected to be presented at the Nov. 19 school board meeting. The final recommendation is expected to be presented to the board in December.
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