Construction began on more than 900 homes in the Wolf Ranch Elementary School attendance zone in 2022, causing it to be one of five elementary school areas experiencing strong growth, said Bob Templeton, vice president of the school district segment at Zonda, during the district's fourth-quarter demographic report March 21.

The other elementary zones experiencing high growth are for Williams, Ford, Mitchell and Cooper elementary schools, according to Templeton’s presentation.

The opening of Elementary School No. 11 in the Santa Rita Ranch development in the 2024-25 school year will help relieve some capacity constraints at Wolf Ranch, which is projected to exceed its capacity of 850 students by 167 in 2023-24.

Across the district, there are 62 actively building subdivisions and 25 more in the planning phases, Templeton said. Despite rising interest rates, Templeton said developers are still busy preparing lots for new homes.

However, the number of home starts in GISD dropped to 291 in the fourth quarter of 2022, the lowest number of any quarter since the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Zonda’s data—but closings are still taking place. There were 706 n GISD in the fourth quarter of 2022—the highest number ever recorded.

In the Austin region, GISD had the third-most closings of any school district behind Hays CISD and Leander ISD. The district had the second-most starts and the most vacant inventory.

Using all these factors, Zonda is still projecting an annual enrollment increase of 4% each year, meaning the district is expected to gain 539 for next school year. Under its growth scenario, GISD would serve 16,300 students in the 2026-27 school year and more than 20,000 in 2031-32.

Templeton said if housing starts do not pick back up, enrollment increases for the 2024-25 school year could taper.