|(Seguin) -- Although fast paced growth may not be in the immediate cards for the Seguin ISD, the district is poised and positioned to welcome a good boost in numbers in the years ahead. |
The Seguin ISD Board of Trustees along with the district's facilities committee were able to take a sneak peak into the district's potential for growth during Tuesday's board workshop. Leading the discussion on the district's demographics was Brent Alexander, director of demographics research for SDS (School District Strategies).
Alexander says with a fast growing subdivision like The Meadows at Nolte Farms and headlines reporting another 1,100 homes on the city's south side, it was no surprise that the district wanted to reach out to him for more information regarding the make-up of the district from here on out.
Alexander says over the past seven years, the school district is estimated to have added 1,233 new households. In the Fall of 2017, district enrollment was at 7,427 students. That's only two students up from the Fall of 2016.
He says after peaking in 2008, district enrollment has been in a flat growth pattern remaining near 7,400-7,500 students over the past 9 years.
Since 2014, Alexander says homebuilders have produced 352 new homes in the Seguin ISD. Led by Express Home (D.R. Horton) at The Meadows, the majority of recent new home activity in the district has occurred in the Koennecke Elementary and Barnes Middle School attendance zones.
He says despite the additional single family homes and plans for apartment units, district enrollment is projected to only increase by an average of 1.0 percent annually over the next five years. He says that's the conservative number of 385 more students from the Fall of 2017 to Fall 2022.
"Well we're in the early stages of seeing the growth from more of the starter home type product which is what The Meadows has been from the Express Homes by D. R. Horton. As you saw in the report, these homes, the yields are lower than what we typically see from traditional single family, but they do grow over time, since the primary target is a younger buyer that may have younger children or no kids at all right now. But the impact on the district is as you saw is a gradual increase in the number of homes being built. More options for people that live here to buy houses. The district has the capacity to handle the growth over the next several years. It's just new to see these many subdivisions that could potentially be opening. There really hasn't been what you see in other districts around San Antonio in the Seguin ISD," said Alexander.
With the proposed Arroyo Ranch subdivision on FM 725, Anderson says future residential development is also expected to shift enrollment growth geographically from the southeast to the west side of the district -- impacting the McQueeney, Vogel and A.J. Briesemeister Middle School zones. The city of Seguin recently broke ground on the new homes to be located across the street from Vogel Elementary School.
"It has the potential to change the enrollment trend here to which has been flat to gradually increase that. So that's much better news that three years ago when we didn't know about how well a neighborhood like The Meadows would sell. It's encouraging. It means obviously more households. So that means additional people here locally. So it just represents a growing community and hopefully, more students for the school district," said Alexander.
As he notes the potential for growth, part of the emphasis has been on the facilities and whether or not they would be able to absorb whatever number of new students come to the district. Alexander says as the district stands now, there is plenty of classroom space although schools like Koennecke and Weinert Elementary, Ball Early Childhood Center, Barnes and A.J. Briesemeister Middle Schools could see less elbow room as the years continue.
"It's going to take a while for several of the schools to get to capacity. A lot of the numbers that we talked about in the school district show that each of the elementary schools are able to absorb the growth here in the next several years because enrollment has been low and because there's been a decline in the lower grade totals. All of that begins to change as more of these homes get built. At this point, there's not any major capacity issues that are forecasted from a potential housing growth," said Alexander.
Seguin ISD Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez says he's grateful to hear the news that growth is on the horizon and wants to prepare the district anyway possible.
"The future is very promising. It looks like we will have a new families coming to our district. It's going to take a few years for us to experience growth, but it's promising. With that growth there's tax dollar, but there's also there's new faces and making sure that we have the facilities to be able to accommodate that growth," said Dr. Gutierrez.
The Oak Hollow II Apartments currently under development are also expected to trigger additional growth again impacting the Koennecke and Barnes campuses. The current "conservative" net growth for the Seguin ISD stands at 752 students over the next 10 years.