The Lake Travis ISD board of trustees voted to reduce the capacity of the district’s second high school opening in 2027 at an April 17 meeting.

This decision comes as LTISD expects student enrollment to be lower than previous projections in light of new demographic data.

What’s happening

LTISD will design and build High School No. 2 to accommodate 1,500 students with an option to build a second phase for 500 additional students if capacity is needed in the future.

At a March 20 meeting, the board discussed reducing the high school’s capacity from 2,000 to 1,500 students as recent demographic data showed the district would have 5,000 high school students once built out instead of 5,500, Population and Survey Analysts President Stacey Tepera said. Lake Travis High School has a capacity for around 3,500 students.

The district is projecting lower enrollment as over 2,300 new homes planned for the district will no longer be built on over 2,000 acres of land Travis County residents voted to conserve in a November bond election, Tepera said.

“Our plan right now is not to build Phase [No. 2] and not to spend more money than we need to,” Place 7 board member Keely Cano said. “It’s just a possibility.”

Also of note

The district is expected to save $18 million by designing the school for 1,500 students versus 2,000, VLK Architects Principal Tom Oehler said at a March 20 meeting.

The new design would involve a 40,000-square-foot reduction from the original 499,753-square-foot design by removing 30,000 square feet in classrooms and a 10,000-square-foot auxiliary gym, he said. Despite initial savings, costs to build those facilities later could increase over time with inflation, Oehler said

The revised design for 1,500 students would remove the following:
  • 17 classrooms
  • 4 science labs
  • 1 CTE lab
  • 1 counselor suite
  • 1 gymnasium
If the district tried to upkeep a high school built for a 2,000-student capacity with 1,500 students, it would incur an additional $120,000-$150,000 in expenses a year, Superintendent Paul Norton said. The district will not sell bonds for any money it saves by lowering the school’s capacity, he said.

The background

High School No. 2 is slated to open in August 2027 off Reimers-Peacock Road near Hwy. 71. The​​ $219.2 million school and athletic facilities are funded by 2022 and 2023 bonds.

In November, voters approved a $143 million bond proposition to fund athletic facilities at High School No. 2 and upgrade facilities at existing campuses after failing to do so in 2022.

The new high school is in the design phase with construction expected to begin in the spring or summer of 2025, district officials said. The district will zone for High School No. 2 when it rezones students ahead of the opening of Elementary School No. 8, formerly known as Elementary School No. 9, in 2026, Norton said.

High School No. 2 will be the district’s final high school as it has no plans to build a third, he said.