Pasadena ISD Bond Election       Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Housing rush predicted to thrust
Memorial enrollment upward

A rush of new housing developments around Pasadena Memorial High School is projected to drastically increase enrollment and has left officials examining future facility needs.

The Southway Gardens development has sparked the growth in the Memorial attendance zone, with room for 348 new home sites. In addition, 163 acres have been purchased for residential development area between Scarsdale and Highway 3 that could yield the possibility of more than 650 new homes.

"New housing is happening everywhere," said Robert Landry, the district's director of research and evaluation. "The numbers of potential residences and students seems to increase daily."

Other signs of growth within the Memorial boundaries include 83 new home sites off of Jana Lane that will affect Memorial. Additional areas of growth include Village at the Park at Burke and Crenshaw, Burke at Vista, Waters Court on Waters Street, Sun Meadow at Keith and Pansy, and Crenshaw at Beltway 8. The area east of Interstate 45 is expected to produce 427 high school students and at least half of those students will be attending Memorial.

To make room for the new growth, the addition of 28 classrooms is being proposed as part of the $299.88 million bond issue to be placed before voters Nov. 2. In addition to the expanded classroom space, other additions to Memorial would include expansion of the library and athletic facilities.

Pasadena Memorial had an enrollment of 1,042 students in the fall of 2003 when it first opened with freshmen and sophomore students. The projected number of students for this fall has increased to 1,664 students. The school was originally designed to hold an enrollment of 2,000 students. Future projections show that there will be 2,283 students attending the high school by the fall of 2005. The numbers are projected to increase to as many as 2,700 students by the fall of 2008.

"With the growth in the district, Memorial will be faced with over 2,700 students in a building made for 2,000," Landry said. "The school can't handle that kind of population. Families are moving into this area as quickly as homes are built. We must find a way to make room to accommodate these students."

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