See the 2022 Women in Business Magazine

Buda chamber hears demographic report

By Brittany Anderson

BUDA — The most recent Hays CISD demographic report has shown that the district’s growth will irrefutably continue to impact the county’s local businesses and their growth as a whole. 

Hays CISD Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright and Chief Operations Officer Max Cleaver presented a demographic report on the district during the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Aug. 10, highlighting major trends in the district that show its future growth in schools and homes, and as the local economy booms with companies like Sovereign Flavors and The Boring Company planting roots in the county. 

HCISD is one of the largest school districts, land-mass and population-wise, in Texas. Wright said that HCISD has officially surpassed Leander ISD as being the fastest-growing school district in Central Texas.

Courtesy of Hays CISD.

School districts across Texas have started to see a steady increase in enrollment, following a sharp decline of 122,350 students during the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID. This past year, Texas grew by 55,780 students and is expected to grow to around 75,000 this upcoming year. 

In HCISD, enrollment is up 1,083 students from 2021-2022, an increase of 5.3%. The district increases by around 1,000 to 1,400 students a year, and there were 22,771 students “in the queue” to start school on Aug. 16. 

However, two new charter campuses opening in 2022/2023— schools that operate independently from the school district of the area they are located in — could have an impact on this enrollment, as well as HCISD’s ability to hire and retain teachers. There are currently 17 charter schools near or within the HCISD boundary, enrolling more than 5,000 students during the 2020-2021 school year. 

Still, the constant influx of new homes is what will really drive numbers to HCISD. The district has 42 active building subdivisions and 34 future subdivisions, and groundwork is underway on more than 6,150 lots within 14 subdivisions. 

The upcoming Anthem subdivision behind Hays High School has a projected 2,500 homes, and developers are donating around 15 to 16 acres for the district’s 16th elementary school which is already in the works and set to open for the 2024-2025 school year. 

While there are various ways schools can “flex” and incrementally increase their capacity, this is more of a Band-Aid than a permanent solution, and the need for more schools is inevitable. 

Sunfield Elementary in Buda’s Sunfield subdivision, which is the district’s 15th elementary school and the 26th in the district overall, opened for the 2022-2023 school year, but the district is already looking ahead to elementary school #17 in east central Kyle to continue to provide relief and avoid over-capacitating schools. 

There is a similar forecast on the secondary level, with capacity at Dahlstrom and McCormick middle schools being increased and Wallace MS potentially increasing. 

“As we continue to grow, I want people in our community to understand that I hate bureaucracy; I hate red tape,” Wright said. “I want people to be valued and heard. Even though we’re growing, I still want to have a small town mentality of, “We’re going to take care of people.” … These are your schools, your children and your tax dollars.” 

About Author

Brittany Anderson graduated from Texas State University in August 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She previously worked at KTSW 89.9, Texas State University's radio station, for nearly two years in the web content department as a writer and assistant manager. She has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch since July 2021.

Comments are closed.