Lamar Consolidated ISD officials are proactively planning for what a demographic firm projects will be decades of “hypergrowth” by opening nine new schools in the next two years.

A January report from demographer Zonda predicted the district will receive an average of 2,135 new students annually for the next decade. LCISD is the fastest-growing school district in the Houston area, surpassing local districts with 3,818 new home starts and 4,110 home closings in 2023, according to the report.

The district staff is working closely with Zonda to plan accordingly for future growth, Chief Communications Officer Sonya Cole-Hamilton said in an emailed statement.

“Our recent workshop with Zonda Education provided valuable insights into future enrollment trends, allowing us to anticipate growth and plan accordingly,” she said. “We are committed to staying proactive in our approach and will continue to work diligently to address the needs of our growing student population.”

The details

Zonda analyzed growth trends and projections, and rated LCISD a “hypergrowth” district, meaning it has an elementary school zone that has between 150 to 300 new home starts annually, based on their January demographic report to the district.

Bob Templeton, vice president for Zonda’s education division, said the geographic size of the district is a factor in the growth, with 385 square miles zoned to its schools. His company's data, which is gathered by satellites that utilize artificial intelligence technology to recognize home construction, shows over 37,000 homes in development.

As the fastest-growing school district in the Houston region, LCISD has an annual start rate of nearly 3,800 single-family homes per year, Templeton said.

“If [developers] keep building 4,000 homes a year, there's enough lots that they can easily do that for another 10 years,” he said.

Zonda’s data shows the following developments in the Fulshear area:
  • Fulshear Lakes: 425 total sites
  • Fullbrook on Fulshear: 389 total sites
  • Del Webb Fulshear: 725 total sites
The conditions

Schools in the district are experiencing overcrowding due to the area’s population growth. However, Cole-Hamilton said in an emailed statement that LCISD staff are taking some measures to mitigate the situation.

Those actions include:
  • Ongoing construction projects for new schools
  • Boundary adjustments
  • Resource management
The district has seen steady growth in enrollment in the last five years, and she said district staff is continuing to manage the influx and its effects as best it can while new schools are being built to alleviate the strain.

“At present, while some of our schools may be experiencing increased enrollment, we are continuously monitoring capacity and implementing measures to ensure that all students have access to quality education in a conducive learning environment,” she said.

Diving in deeper

In the Fulshear area, which is served by both LCISD and Katy ISD, new residential construction points to a need for schools for new families coming to the area, as evidenced by LCISD’s plans for two new elementary campus projects for the next two years, according to the district.

In total, the district has 15 school openings planned through fall 2027, two of which will be in the Fulshear area, according to district information.

Cole-Hamilton said additional bonds will be needed to continue building new schools to support the district’s growth.

Opening in fall 2024
  • Randle Elementary School: 5902 Sycamore Ranch Lane, Fulshear
  • Terrell Elementary School: 26229 Fulshear-Gaston Road, Richmond
  • Steenbergen Middle School: 4113 Minonite Road, Richmond
  • Melton Elementary School: 2880 Jordan Ranch Blvd., Brookshire
Opening in fall 2025
  • Tomas High School: 8020 FM 723, Richmond
  • Banks Junior High School: Westheimer Lakes, Richmond
  • Bielstein Middle School: Westheimer Lakes, Richmond
  • Elementary School No. 35: Rolling Oaks, Richmond
  • Elementary School No. 36: Fulshear
Opening in fall 2026
  • Elementary School No. 37: site not secured
  • Elementary School No. 38: site not secured
  • CTE Center: site not secured
Opening in fall 2027
  • High School No. 8: site not secured
  • Junior High School No. 8: site not secured
  • Middle School No. 8: site not secured
The action taken

To help meet the rising demand for teachers as the area grows, LCISD is holding job fairs and conducting a dozen visits to regional college campuses to recruit new teachers this spring, according to the district website.

In addition, district officials are actively seeking feedback from its constituents on how to best meet the challenges of the growth, as it acknowledges bonds will continue to be needed to adequately address the trends of increased enrollment.

“Community engagement and collaboration with stakeholders remain integral to our long-term vision for managing growth sustainably,” Cole-Hamilton said. “We are committed to transparency and accountability in our decision-making processes, and we appreciate parent and community engagement in our efforts to support the needs of our expanding student population.”