Student population growth in Humble ISD is expected to level off in the coming decade as the area faces a shortage of land for additional development, according to a January report issued by demographic firm Population and Survey Analysts.

The overview

PASA analysts were on hand during the board's Feb. 20 meeting to provide an overview of the report.

Since 2013, the fast-growth district has added nearly 10,000 students, bringing its current student population to roughly 48,600. However, PASA demographic consultant Justin Silhavy noted growth has slowed in the last few years.

“You’ve witness 10 years of growth, but that’s starting to change,” Silhavy said. “It’s been up, up, up until the last couple of years, and now we’re about to see some stabilization in enrollment.”

Silhavy noted several factors contributing to the projected decline in growth, including a lower number of expected new housing units within the district, smaller incoming kindergarten classes and additional charter schools opening in the area.

A closer look

Silhavy said two of the three growth scenarios outlined in the report projected lower enrollment numbers for the 2033-34 school year than the district’s current student population.

According to the report, the district’s 2033-34 population could fall to around 45,200 students in a low-growth scenario or roughly 47,900 students in a moderate-growth scenario. In a high-growth scenario, the population could rise to around 50,200 students in that same time frame.

Silhavy noted the disparity between the low-growth and high-growth scenarios was largely due to unpredictable circumstances, such as the construction of additional charter schools or an increase in the area’s birth rate.

“We could also have some land that's owned by some major energy companies sell off parcels [for development] that don't have oil wells on them,” he said. “We just don't know.”

Silhavy said the lower enrollment projections are largely due to a smaller number of planned housing units. From 2020 to 2023, new housing starts within the district have fallen from 1,869 to 811, a decrease of roughly 56.6%. Since about 91% of the district has already been built out, Silhavy said very little raw land within the district remains undeveloped.

Still, he said the district is projected to add roughly 9,400 new housing occupancies over the next decade.

In Humble, 560 single-family units are being constructed in Townsen Landing, and an additional 412 single-family units are being built in Harmony Cove. Additionally, 517 and 272 single-family units are expected to be complete by 2025 in Balmoral and The Groves, respectively.

Silhavy added four multifamily units are currently being constructed with the district, with another seven planned through 2033.

Why it matters

While enrollment growth is expected to stabilize over the next decade, PASA President Stacey Tempera said some areas within the district are still projecting higher rates of growth than others, which could affect some campuses' capacity.

Tempera said the biggest areas of concern are in the southeastern and western portions of the district. In the southeast, Centennial and Groves elementary schools are expected to add around 340 and 100 students over the next decade, respectively. In the west, Humble and Lakeland elementary schools are expected to add around 260 and 280 students, respectively.
According to the report, the additions would put Centennial Elementary at 137% capacity, Groves Elementary at 115% capacity, Humble Elementary at 121% capacity and Lakeland Elementary at 120% capacity by the 2033-34 school year.

Despite the increased enrollment numbers at these campuses, Tempera said several campus renovation and expansion projects included in the bond package approved by voters in May 2022 will help prevent the district’s middle and high schools from seeing similar overcrowding issues over the next decade.

What’s next

While the district doesn’t have any current plans to rezone campus boundaries in the coming years, trustee Robert Sitton said the report will allow officials to address potential capacity issues moving forward.

“We hate the word rezoning, but there are some opportunities to shift a little bit here and there,” Sitton said.