IDEA Academy drawing more students, applying for building expansion

IDEA Academy in Kyle has applied for permission to expand its building into phase two if the school’s expansion plan.

IDEA Kyle is currently located at 640 Philomena Dr. in the northern part of Kyle. The school currently serves 704 students, according to IDEA Kyle, who are in Kindergarten through third grade and sixth through seventh grade.

The 30,000 square foot expansion will allow IDEA Kyle to serve high school students as well, a concern for Hays CISD, which reports 400 students transferring to IDEA Kyle last year. However, the district reports 150 students returning to HCISD after leaving IDEA Kyle.

“We’re not exactly sure what the expansion includes,” said HCISD Chief Communication Officer Tim Savoy. “We’ve sent information requests to prepare ourselves but have received no response so far.”

Savoy said the growth of the charter school will have an impact on the district as state funding is allocated to school districts per number of students.

“This isn’t a major concern for us,” Savoy said. “Although we lose some students through transferring, we are still growing at a fast pace and many students and their parents prefer what we have to offer.”

Kyle’s Planning and Zoning Commission heard IDEA Kyle’s proposal June 11 and gave it a 5-1 approval. Their recommendation will be sent to city council, who will consider a concern the commission had.

IDEA Kyle’s current location serves under 1,000 students but will see a significant increase once the school takes on high school education. The increased population could exacerbate a traffic issue according to the commission, who hopes council will take a look at the issue.

“Is it my imagination or do we already have a traffic issue here,” said commissioner Jo Fenety, at the meeting.

Fenety said she would like council to ask for a traffic plan from IDEA Kyle, which the city is authorized to do according to the Texas Department of Transportation. (TXDOT)

The proposal, if approved, does not focus on traffic nor does it need to pass any traffic standards. The school is building the remaining structure up to size and aesthetic standard, according to Will Atkinson, Kyle city planner.

Now, the proposal is being sent to the city council dias for discussion and approval.

Regardless of traffic or district funding, charter schools could become more popular in the area according to district officials. Charter schools are publicly funded and typically tuition-free. These schools often admit students on the basis of their academic and behavioral records, which many parents find appealing.

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