In response to the growth and new development in Northwest Harris County communities like Cypress, Cy-Fair ISD has embarked upon an aggressive expansion plan. This article from the Community Impact | Cy-Fair provides an insight into the projects underway and planned. September 16, 2015
Construction is underway on two multischool sites, several new facilities and updates to older campuses as Cy-Fair ISD works to keep up with student growth.
“Because of the economic downturn in 2008, there were a lot of construction projects planned several years ago that had to be delayed,” Superintendent Mark Henry said. “We’re in the process of catching up. On the other hand, over the next five years we’re expecting around 9,000 or 10,000 new students, so we’re dealing with growth that occurred over the last seven years and growth that will occur over the next five years.”
CFISD was the fifth-fastest-growing school district in Texas during the 2014-15 school year, adding nearly 1,600 new students, according to a study by demographic firm Population Survey Analysts.
“The district is growing rapidly, and we’re pushing 115,000 students this year,” said Dillon Brady, CFISD assistant superintendent for facilities and construction. “Between now and 2017 we’re opening two high schools, two elementary schools and replacing an elementary school. We’re trying to stay in front of our needs.”
Construction is nearly 50 percent complete on Cypress Park High School, which is part of a 175-acre property at FM 529 and Westgreen Boulevard. The site will also house a middle school, expected to open by 2019, and an elementary school, which will open by 2020.
There are numerous advantages to building a multi-school site—or educational village—ranging from cost savings to shared roadways and providing a sense of community for the students, Brady said.
“It’s an advantage for students and families in that your child can start kindergarten at that site and go all the way through 12th grade,” Henry said. “We think there are advantages with bus routes and transportation costs, and we have a centralized kitchen so it’s easier to deliver meals to those campuses. There are a lot of cost savings.”
The multi-school site in Bridgeland is located between the Grand Parkway and future Mason Road, south of the future Bridgeland Creek Parkway. Construction began in late August on High School No. 12, which will be 570,000 square feet and four stories tall.
Construction is also underway on an adjacent 120,000-square-foot elementary school that will open for the 2017-18 school year. A middle school is planned for the site as well but has not been included in a bond.
The new campuses were designed with flexible spaces in mind, giving teachers the ability to create a unique culture of learning, Brady said.
“The way that High School No. 12 is placed and oriented allows for indoor and outdoor learning activities in a safe learning environment,” he said. “Inside you’ll see more glass, learning walls and activities built into the facility.”