Tomball, Magnolia ISDs keeping an eye on growth in The Woodlands

The Tomball and Magnolia independent school districts have land available in their respective portions that lie within The Woodlands, but district representatives say until population growth picks up in their areas, there are no plans to build additional schools any time soon.

Tomball ISD is in the midst of building its second Woodlands-area school, Timber Creek Elementary School, set to open in the fall. The school is located at Kuykendahl Road and Creekside Green Drive. Its other school located within The Woodlands, Creekside Forest Elementary, at Creekside Green and Creekside Forest drives, opened in August 2009, said Staci Stanfield, spokeswoman for the district.

The schools were part of a $198-million school bond program voted on by residents in 2007, she said.

"We have seen this area really grow, and construction has increased," Stanfield added. "We were excited to see Creekside Forest grow as much as it did."

As of May 31, enrollment at Creekside Forest was 584 students. The school has capacity to serve 730 students.

Tomball ISD has a site available in The Woodlands west of Kuykendahl for another elementary school, but the district does not see the need for another school anytime soon unless there is more growth in the area, Stanfield said.

Though more people have moved into the area of The Woodlands serviced by Magnolia ISD, superintendent Todd Stephens said growth, which was about 6 percent seven years ago, has slowed over the past few years. The district, which has 16 schools, has just under 13,000 enrolled.

"In our elementary schools, we are at 65 to 70 percent capacity, so we have seat space," he said. "Sometimes it can be challenging, but we are not in danger of putting in portables yet."

In the May Valley area south of Woodlands Parkway, there is land available for one elementary and one high school, but there are no plans to purchase the land until school capacity eclipses the 80 percent mark, said Charlie Riley, school board president.

Elsewhere, there are several 10-acre and 12-acre tracts for elementary and junior high schools when growth is moving again, Stephens said.

"We are keeping an eye on the growth, but we are cautious of gearing up until we see the results," he added.



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