Pasadena ISD Bond Election       Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Growth in Pasadena ISD

Growth outpaces projections,
district contemplates facility needs

Student enrollment growth in the Pasadena Independent School District has outpaced every demographic projection since 1998. 
New housing and apartment developments, taking advantage of the continued low interest rates, spring up faster than the district's demographic consultants had projected.

If the steady growth in the district during the 1990s created the spark for new schools, including the new Pasadena Memorial High School, this next growth spurt will almost assuredly light a fire for new building needs, according to Superintendent Rick Schneider.

"The numbers are sometimes staggering," said Schneider. "If the interest rates hold near current levels, there appears to be no end in sight to the current level of building in our community."

New housing or apartment starts are blossoming out along Beltway 8 beginning in northeast Pasadena and picking up intensity as it moves through south Pasadena to the South Belt area of the district. "It is a very obvious trend," said Robert Landry, director of research and evaluation. "When you chart it on the district map, you can clearly see the growth and where it's taking place."

The district has analyzed property that is currently being developed or has been platted already by developers. These developments are expected to be completed within the next five to seven years.

The district's report shows more than 2,200 new homes or apartments located in the district east of I-45. An additional 5,000 plus homes or apartments are planned in the district east of I-45.

The largest development is the continued build out of Riverstone Ranch on Blackhawk Road in the South Belt area. Approximately one-fourth of the acreage has been built, leaving more than 1,650 homes still on the planning board. 

Visit these links
to find out more
about the growth
in Pasadena ISD

Student Enrollment Growth Chart
more ...

Results from growth
and community
opinion survey
more ...

Housing development
growth map (.pdf file)

Housing growth chart
more ...

Highway 3 and I-45
corridor is prime development area
more ...

TEA names Pasadena
as one of the fastest growing districts
more ...

South Belt area
still growing
more ...


Other large developments in the South Belt area include Centex Homes and Beazer Homes with 630 and 610 homes projected, respectively. An apartment complex at the intersection of Sabo and Beltway 8 will feature 610 units.

"These developments are moderately priced homes ideal for young couples with children," said Landry. "The homes are occupied almost as quickly as they are built."

Another area of major development is within the Highway 3 and I-45 corridor. Southway Gardens is currently underway with plans to build 348 new homes. A new area, recently platted by Linnar Homes could bring as many as 800 additional homes to the district.

In south Pasadena, much of the growth will come from two new apartment complexes. The Broadwater Apartments currently under construction on Crenshaw will have 248 units when completed. An additional apartment complex is planned near Burke Road and Vista with plans from 274 units.

The Strawberry Glen subdivision near the intersection of Strawberry and Almeda-Genoa Road will feature 151 new homes.

He said, "With all the new developments in our area, we are estimated more than 5,100 new students from the areas already planned or underway above the projections originally made in 2002. This growth does not take into account the 'cohort growth' achieved by moving students through our system year after year or the growth seen in transitional neighborhoods as couples retire and sell their older homes to younger families with children.

The numbers become more critical when the district looks at available acreage than has not yet been platted. Said Schneider, "We are aware of other areas, particularly in the South Belt area and the Highway 3 corridor, which are prime areas for future residential development. Preliminary conversations with property owners indicate it is not a matter of 'if' these areas will be development, but a matter of 'when.'"

Among the schools most seriously impacted by the new developments are Jessup and Genoa elementary schools, Beverly Hills, Thompson and Miller intermediate schools and Dobie and Memorial high schools. "Seven of our 10 intermediate schools enroll more than 1,000 students today," said the superintendent. "Four of those seven schools have more than 1,100 students. By 2006, all 10 schools will exceed a student enrollment of 1,000 students."

Beverly Hills, Jackson, Miller and Thompson are projected to will top 1,300 students. Pasadena ISD's goal is to have fewer than 900 students at an intermediate campus, according to built capacity of its schools.

In two years, three elementary schools will exceed 1,000 students with 19 campuses exceeding the district's goal of 750 students for its elementary schools.

The high school growth, while significant at Memorial High School, will be greatest at Dobie High School. Projections show Dobie's enrollment to approach 4,500 students by 2008, far beyond the capacity of its new facility. "The growth in the Dobie attendance zone has surpassed any expectation in its size and speed," said Schneider. "Any time you have a school that size, you start negatively impacting student achievement and tend to decrease the percentage of your students who participate in extracurricular activities."

The district has been watching the enrollment data continuously since 1998. The trends, while steady in the past, now show a rapidly increased growth curve. A community wide facilities committee has started looking at the building needs to address the new growth.

Pasadena ISD is one of the fastest growing districts in Texas over the past three years, according to a March enrollment report issued by TEA. Among the 30 largest districts in the state, Pasadena ISD is ranked eighth in growth since 2001, behind only Katy, United (Laredo), Cy-Fair, Round Rock, Fort Bend, Northside (San Antonio) and Brownsville.

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