Cedar Park High School is expected to see an increase in enrollment over the next few years based on new attendance zones for next school year.

Leander ISD officials discussed how rezoning will affect middle and high school enrollment in light of recent demographic data at a March 28 board of trustees meeting. Some board members expressed concerns about how modernization work would affect Cedar Park High School as enrollment expands.

What’s happening?

New attendance zones will go into effect for middle and high school campuses in the 2024-25 school year following the board’s approval of rezoning in June.

In October, LISD received new enrollment projections from a demographic update by Population and Survey Analysts. While the new attendance zones will relieve many campuses that are over or under capacity, Cedar Park High School will begin seeing an increase in students next school year that will reach a peak in the 2030-31 school year, the projections show. Cedar Park High School is projected to be overcapacity by around 200 students in 2026.

Under the existing attendance zones, the campus would have lost students each school year over the next decade. The growth comes as Cedar Park Middle School is also expected to expand over the next two school years through the rezoning, Chief Operations Officer Jimmy Disler said.

What else?

School board President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia said many community members are concerned about Cedar Park High School undergoing modernization work as enrollment grows.

The campus, which was built in 1998, will receive $51.5 million in new major building subsystems, roof repair and improvements to the South Performing Arts Center, according to the district’s website. Construction will begin this summer once school recesses and be completed before the 2026-27 school year when the campus is expected to see a large enrollment increase, Chief of Staff Sarah Grissom said.

Vista Ridge and Leander high schools will also undergo some modernization work and receive roof repairs over the next two years. Construction on a redesign of Leander High School’s athletic facilities is expected to begin this summer.

District officials will work with affected campuses to set up replacement portables and will explore temporary parking options at Cedar Park High School, such as parking on grass fields, Disler said.

Notable quote

“It’s not ideal, but we are doing our best,” Gonzales-Dholakia said about campuses exceeding capacity. “We’re being proactive and working with those campuses to find the parking [and] how are we going to deal with this.”

The backstory

The district began planning to rezone middle and high schools in 2022 following a failed bond election for new campuses in 2021. While voters passed a $762.8 million bond package in May, the board adopted new attendance zones in June as the district looked to defer hundreds of millions in construction costs, Grissom said.

Rezoning has allowed the district to push the opening of Middle School No. 10 from 2025 to 2030 and High School No. 7 from 2025 to 2029, she said.

The rezoning also comes as the district has experienced rapid growth at northern campuses in Leander while losing students at southern campuses in Cedar Park. District officials recently discussed opening enrollment to students outside of LISD in the district’s central and southern portions as some campuses are being underutilized.