The Woodlands Township, Tomball ISD discuss rezoning plan affecting Creekside Park families

A presentation at a March 24 meeting of The Woodlands Township board of directors showed several options for Tomball ISD rezoning in the Creekside Park area. (Screenshot via The Woodlands Township)
A presentation at a March 24 meeting of The Woodlands Township board of directors showed several options for Tomball ISD rezoning in the Creekside Park area. (Screenshot via The Woodlands Township)

A presentation at a March 24 meeting of The Woodlands Township board of directors showed several options for Tomball ISD rezoning in the Creekside Park area. (Screenshot via The Woodlands Township)

A plan that would send some students in The Woodlands Township to a Tomball ISD elementary school on the opposite side of Kuykendahl Road from their homes was met with opposition from parents and raised questions from the township’s board of directors.

At a March 24 board meeting, TISD Chief Operating Officer Steven Gutierrez presented information about two Creekside rezoning plans the school board will consider at its April meeting. Plan A would send some students in Creekside Park west of Kuykendahl Road to Timber Creek Elementary School, while Plan B would not include those sections of Creekside Park. Several residents who spoke at the meeting as well as board members said crossing Kuykendahl Road was too dangerous of a proposition for students in a community that values walking and biking to school.

“All of us know how dangerous this could be as we have seen people hit and even killed,” said Shannon Irby, a resident who spoke at the meeting.

However, Gutierrez said even if Plan B is adopted, some students will eventually need to be zoned to Timber Creek because of increasing growth in the district, which is projected to enroll 24,000 students in 2026-27 and 26,000 by 2031-32. Creekview Elementary School is at 115% capacity this school year, while Timber Creek is at 82% capacity, according to TISD information.

“With the growth in the district and within the Creekside area, a neighborhood will inevitably have to cross Kuykendahl,” Gutierrez said.


The board previously discussed the intersection of Kuykendahl and Creekside Green Drive at a Nov. 18 meeting, and several improvements were recommended for the intersection to improve safety.

Officials at that time also discussed the feasibility of a pedestrian bridge across Kuykendahl, which board Chair Gordy Bunch said would remove the need to implement other solutions, such as crossing guards. A bridge was projected to cost about $1.1 million at that time.

Bunch asked Gutierrez if the district would consider hiring school crossing guards, which TISD does not employ.

Gutierrez said rather than hiring crossing guards, the district has opted to provide busing for all students, which he said is not required by the state.

“There’s no way we can govern every possible way from an individual’s home to our campus to say we’re going to secure each one of those,” Gutierrez said.

Bunch suggested the board partner with TISD and Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsay on the safety issue, whether that entailed developing a plan for a bridge together or looking at other solutions.

“We’d like to partner with you, have a direct dialogue and work on a possible solution that resolves everybody’s concerns,” Bunch said.

Gutierrez said he could not speak to the board’s availability but said he would convey The Woodlands’ concerns, its preference for the Zone B solution and other topics discussed at the meeting to the school board at its next meeting.

By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.