Tomball ISD spreading roots in The Woodlands

With the number of Woodlands students enrolled in Tomball ISD schools tripling over the last four years, the distrct plans to build two new schools in the Village of Creekside Park thanks to the passage of Tomball ISD's $160 million bond referendum in May.

"We have seen steady growth in The Woodlands since we opened Creekside Forest Elementary in 2009," said Staci Stanfield, director of communications for Tomball ISD. "We are pleased that the area continues to grow, and we are thankful that the voters approved Bond 2013, which will enable us to build two additional schools to serve the students in The Woodlands community."

Stanfield said 266 students were served by Tomball ISD in The Woodlands in 2009, which grew to 1,029 students last year with the opening of Timber Creek Elementary School.

In addition to two other schools and district-wide improvements, the bond will fund the construction of two campuses in The Woodlands area, including a junior high for 6th-8th graders and a third K-5 elementary school.

Stanfield said the costs and construction timetables of the schools are unknown, as the district could not begin the design process until after the passage of the bond referendum.

However, she said the junior high will be located on a 37-acre tract of land across from Kuykendahl Road from Timber Creek Elementary, and the elementary school will be on a 15-acre tract about a half-mile north of the planned junior high.

Although the attendance zones for the new schools have not been examined, Stanfield said students will likely still attend Tomball High School.

"Whenever we do come to that point in time, we communicate with the parents and let them know the process," Stanfield said.

Magnolia campuses that serve Woodlands students have also experienced growth. Magnolia ISD Superintendent Todd Stephens said the May Valley subdivision in The Woodlands—whose children attend Smith Elementary, both Bear Branch campuses and Magnolia High School—is one of the fastest growing subdivisions in the district.

Stephens said the district purchased 10 acres within May Valley years ago to one day construct an elementary school.

"We assume that growth is going to continue in all parts of the district, but as The Woodlands continues to build out, it's going to build outside that area," he said. "[The purchased land] is just an advantage for the district."

Magnolia ISD has more than doubled from the 5,000 students attending the district when Stephens arrived in 1999, but he said growth has slowed the last few years. While most Magnolia ISD campuses are at about 80 percent capacity, he anticipates the district will grow thanks to an improving economy.

"We still think it's going to grow," he said. "We're looking to utilize those school sites and fill them with students."

By Matt Stephens
Matt Stephens joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2012. A Tomball native and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Matt joined as a reporter for The Woodlands team before being promoted to help launch the Spring | Klein edition in spring of 2014 and later to North Houston managing editor in late 2015. He has served as managing editor to the Phoenix and Nashville papers since August 2020.


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