Several schools and an aquatic center are under construction throughout New Caney ISD as the district continues to use voter-approved bond funds to accommodate population and economic growth in Montgomery County.
NCISD, which services Lake Houston-area residents who live in Montgomery County, will complete construction on four projects near Kingwood this summer that were funded as part of the district’s $173 million bond referendum passed by voters in May 2015.
Construction on six of the bond's Phase I projects will be completed by the end of 2017 and include an elementary school and an aquatic center, according to district officials.
“Projects from the 2015 bond referendum will add approximately 3,500 new seats to the district’s schools to accommodate student population growth,” Superintendent Kenn Franklin said.
Based on moderate growth projections, the district expects the student population to grow between 5 percent and 7 percent annually in the next decade, to more than 20,000 students by 2023, according to a 2016 demographics study performed by the Population and Survey Analysts demographics firm.
The NCISD projects under construction near Kingwood include a new Infinity Early College High School building at Lone Star College-Kingwood, renovations at Kings Manor Elementary School, a field house at White Oak Middle School, a swimming and diving facility located at Texan Drive Stadium and additional classrooms at Porter High School, according to district officials.
Phase I also includes the construction of the district’s 10th elementary school—Dogwood Elementary, which is located in the Roman Forest subdivision. The $27.6 million school will open in August.
When Infinity Early College opens at LSC-Kingwood in 2018, it will be the first early college academy located on a Lone Star College System campus. The facility will cost $11.4 million and host at least 400 students, according to the district.
Early college high school academy programs allow students to take college courses and earn associate degrees when they get their diplomas, said Kimberly Klepcyk, dean of Academic Partnerships and Initiatives for LSC-Kingwood. LSC resources will aid student success, she said. “Early college is not just about accumulating the hours to get the degree,” Klepcyk said. “It’s also about teaching the students college-going skills and letting them learn about the college culture. And it’s really difficult for them to learn about college culture if they’re back at the high school.”
The $15.8 million aquatic center will have 400 seats and feature a 25-yard competition pool when it is completed this summer. It could help NCISD attract University Interscholastic League swim meets, said Jim Grant, the former NCISD executive operations director.
NCISD is also spending $8.7 million to construct 20 classrooms, a 4,000 square-foot career-technology education building and a greenhouse at Porter High School as well as $7.3 million for a new roof and renovations at Kings Manor Elementary School, Franklin said. Both projects will be completed this summer.
Phase II will begin construction this spring and includes improvements at New Caney High School and New Caney Middle School as well as construction of Elementary School No. 11, which will open for the 2018-19 school year, according to district documents. The projects will cost $59 million.
NCISD is experiencing commercial and residential growth within its boundaries as developers react to the completion of Grand Parkway segment G—from I-45 to Hwy. 59—in March 2016, according to PASA data. Neighborhoods south of the Grand Parkway near Hwy. 59, such as Valley Ranch, Brookwood Forest Springs and Woodridge Forest expect to deliver more than 2,000 new homes to the area by 2025, according to PASA.
NCISD also purchased land in the southwestern part of the district that could serve as the third high school. The district expects to need a third high school if the student population continues to grow 5-7 percent annually, Franklin said. The 2015 bond did not provide funding for a third high school.
“The school district, along with the board of trustees and community involvement... could consider recommending another bond referendum in the near future,” Franklin said.