By the end of 2018, Katy ISD expects to reach 80,000 students, officials said at a recent board meeting. According to new demographic data, about 17,500 more students will enroll in the district over the next 10 years.

These are the findings Population and Survey Analysts presented to the Katy board of trustees at its Oct. 22 meeting. The College Station-based demographics data firm, which has surveyed Katy ISD for about 30 years, stated in its report that unlike many other school districts, Katy ISD’s demographics have remained stable and will likely remain so as the city and district are built out over the next decade or so.

In the past five years, Katy ISD’s enrollment has grown by about 2,500 students each year, per the data. Among Houston-area school districts, Katy ISD added the most students between fall 2016 and fall 2017 as well as between fall 2012 and fall 2017.

Over the next 10 years, the district is expected to add about 2,000 students each year, reaching 97,518 in total enrollment by 2028.

To accommodate the additional 17,500 students over the next decade, Katy ISD will need to construct at least four more elementary schools, two junior high schools and another high school, according to the presentation. Several schools are planned to open in the next few years.

“We are going to build If the people come,” Katy ISD board member George Scott said at the Oct. 22 meeting.

PASA explained in the report that Katy ISD’s high growth—which is linked to housing, jobs and the economy—has occurred over the past 30 years, which is unlike other large districts and is beneficial for Katy ISD.

“The district’s highest growth years will ultimately be spread out over 40 years,” the report states. “This helps prevent the terrible loss of enrollment that can occur if any school district builds out in 10 to 15 years, when young families all move into a school district at basically the same time and their students age out at the same time 13 years later.”

Based on the remaining land and planned development within Katy ISD’s boundaries, PASA expects the district will reach its full build-out, or highest total enrollment, by around 2028.

PASA estimates that of Katy ISD’s 172 square miles, only about 21 percent remains undeveloped and could potentially be developed, per the report. For comparison, about 31 percent of the district was undeveloped six years ago.

A majority of this undeveloped land is in northwest Katy, according to the report. However, these parcels pose challenges for future homes and apartments because most of them are located on wetlands or flood plains and have drainage issues. In fact, 41 percent of the land within Katy ISD is in a floodplain or floodway, according to PASA's data.

Other challenges to future student growth at Katy ISD include the rise of older residents calling the city home, according to the report. This demographic likely will not have any more children. Additionally, Katy's high home prices make the area unaffordable for many Millennials, who are having children.