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Wylie school district planning for housing boom, increase in student numbers

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:21:52 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 15 2013 09:43:54 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

The Wylie Independent School District is preparing for housing boom in its area.

During the school district meeting Monday night, Superintendent Joey Light told trustees more than 400 new homes are under construction or preplanned. The growth would bring families and more children. From Beltway South to 1750 new houses are popping up.

In the last four years the Wylie student population has increased by almost 500 students. Growth in the district over the last four years has jumped from 3,262 in 2009 to 3,803 in 2013. For district enrollment numbers, this could mean between 60 and close to 150 new students to enroll in the Wylie school district in the next 18 months.

“It's a two edge sword,” Wylie ISD Superintendent Joey Light said. “With the growth there are some pains as far as space goes, but we also would see some benefits due to increasing opportunities.

The district recently opened a new intermediate school at the beginning of the current school year that houses 5th and 6th graders. With the population booming, new facilities could be in the pipeline.

“We're very cautious on spending tax payer dollars and we don't want to anything until it's really time,” Light said.

However, the district has already started surveying their future needs.

"We need to look at our campus configurations.” Light said. “Right now, we have two grade level campuses for every school except the high school. It would also mean getting some idea of where you want to place a facility."

There’s also the question of athletic ranking. Wylie has always been on the cusp of a 4A school.

"We know that there are advantages to being a large school in a conference, but our staff and students have always stepped up to the plate and they'll continue to do so,” Light said.

Currently, there are 1,003 students at Wylie High School. The district estimates the population could expand to at least 1,050 by 2014 and at least 1,100 by 2015.