In the upcoming years, Royal High School is set to experience exponential growth. The Brookshire-Pattison area is experiencing an influx, and investments in the community have started showing …
In the upcoming years, Royal High School is set to experience exponential growth. The Brookshire-Pattison area is experiencing an influx, and investments in the community have started showing up.
“I think it’s exciting when we have some growth, because it does kind of change the face of the community over time with reference to the size of the district, and it brings a new energy to the district when you have new growth, whether it be commercial or residential,” Royal ISD Superintendent Rick Kershner said.
LGI Homes is developing Freeman Ranch and Land Tejas is developing land south of that. The Land Tejas community is half Katy ISD and half Royal ISD. Kershner said the last numbers developers had shared for RISD were around 2,600 homes.
“It would affect the district in lots of ways because currently we have our junior high campus near capacity as far as students, and the elementary and ECC are both near capacity. The high school has some room still, but we would definitely need to make sure that we have the facilities to house the new students,” Kershner said.
When Freeman Ranch is built it will be 812 homes, and LGI homes still have about 375 left to build. LGI Homes will have sold everything by 2023 or 2024, and Freeman Ranch will include a splash pad, playgrounds, walking paths with benches and shade structures.
“We are excited about the continued demand for new houses in Katy and the surrounding area,” LGI Homes representative Kennon Masters said. “Freeman Ranch has been a successful community for LGI Homes, and we look forward to continuing to grow and develop the area.”
Like any district, RISD has to adhere to the student-to-teacher ratio required by law, and if the district grows, so would related staffing.
“We are in the middle of doing an investment grade audit of our current facilities to determine the needs that we have in reference to air quality, chilling units, electrical units, our plumbing capacities and trying to determine all the needs that we have and as we continue to grow, so we want to make sure that we are prepared for that growth to the best of our ability,” Kershner said.
Brookshire has been growing on the commercial side along Highway 90 and Pattison has a subdivision on Wilson Road with a significant number of houses being built in the area, Kershner said.
“I think that there could be opportunity for the district to double in the size of students,” Kershner said. “We ended the school year last year with 2,544 students and we are up approximately 70 students from last year’s school year.”
With the new homes coming in though, Kershner said, the district’s demographer expects about 800 new students for each 1,000 homes built in the district’s service area. With 2,600 homes projected in just the LGI and Land Tejas developments, that comes out to an estimated 2,080 new students.
The area will be experiencing more traffic, a strain in the infrastructure, challenges in the school district among other problems that usually come with growth in the upcoming years, said Pattison Mayor Joe Garcia. The school will have to decide how to manage and provide for that education, and concerning the city of Pattison, and it will be up to leaders in Brookshire, Pattison and RISD to ensure area residents have a high quality of life, he said. The growth is not something that can be prevented, but it can be managed and planned for.
“We're not going to stop the growth, and I think we have to do our best to try to influence it so that at the end of the day any neighbors will be good neighbors,” Garcia said.
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