Leander ISD researches coronavirus impact on district growth

Construction at Cedar Park High School is pictured in this 2019 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Construction at Cedar Park High School is pictured in this 2019 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)

Construction at Cedar Park High School is pictured in this 2019 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)

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After more than a month of coronavirus-related restrictions, housing demand remains strong within Leander ISD—yet demographers say it’s too soon to predict how coronavirus will affect growth projections within the 100-square-mile district.

According to LISD documents released April 21, Jimmy Disler, LISD’s chief facilities and operations officer, reached out to developers for Larkspur, Palmera Ridge and Parkside—major residential developments being built within the district—to gauge the economic effects of coroanvirus on the local new housing market.

According to documents released with the agenda for the April 23 board meeting, “developers stated they have each only had 2-3 cancellations of existing contracts due to loss of employment. ... They currently do not have any plans to stop developing lots as homebuilders are continuing to see the need for new homes.”

Disler also reached out to Population and Survey Analysts, or PASA, the College Station-based company that provides annual demographics reports to LISD.

Although it’s too soon to fully gauge the impact of the pandemic on district growth, PASA told Disler that there will still be a need to construct Tarvin Elementary School in time for the 2021-22 school year to help relieve overcrowding at the nearby Parkside Elementary School, according to the document.


However, PASA reported the construction of elementary school No. 29, scheduled to open in 2022, might be delayed if new housing growth slows. The tentative schedule of future elementary school openings in LISD based on the closest neighborhood, according to Disler, is as follows:

  • August 2021: Palmero Ridge (Tarvin)

  • August 2022: Bryson

  • August 2023: Travisso

  • August 2024: Glenn High School area

  • August 2025: Brushy Creek (Cedar Park)

  • August 2026: northeastern part of the district

  • August 2027: northwestern part of the district


Disler said the developers don’t predict a significant slowdown in new housing in LISD due to the coronavirus, according to the document. The developers believe, the document states, that the strength of the Austin economy is helping keep home sales moving forward during the pandemic.

The inquiries by Disler to developers and PASA came after trustees raised questions about future growth at the trustees’ April 16 agenda review meeting.

At their April 23 meeting, trustees are scheduled to approve $11,142,202 for Tarvin ES construction for “long lead procurement items and early project startup needs,” according to the agenda.

The meeting will begin at 6:15 p.m. and will be accessible by videoconference or teleconference.
By Brian Perdue
Brian Perdue is the editor of the Lake Travis-Westlake and Northwest Austin editions of Community Impact Newspaper. A native of Virginia's Appalachian Mountains, he has been a journalist since 1992, living and working in Virginia, Washington D.C., Hawaii's Big Island, Southern California and Florida before moving to Austin in 2019.


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