Roughly 10,000 more homes seem to be on the way across Krum ISD, which would bring an estimated 6,000 more students.
That would be unheard of growth for a district that barely reported over 2,000 students this past school year.
Mike Davis, Krum ISD interim superintendent, said the district is already looking at how it can accommodate that much growth in such a short window.
He retired as the district’s superintendent in 2013 at the tail end of a growth spurt in KISD that continued for another year. He returned to the district as an interim in June and enrollment at Krum ISD hadn’t grown significantly in the past six years.
“This has always been a small community — a small town — and it’s about to be a busy place, I would think,” he said via phone Wednesday morning.
He said growth is already picking up, but the massive development projects within the district boundaries will stretch into the next 10 years or so.
Most of the major projects will pop up along the U.S. Highway 380 corridor well outside the current city limits of Krum but still within Krum ISD boundaries.
As of Wednesday, Davis said the district wasn’t sure exactly how much of the growth could be handled by building additions to existing campuses and how much would require new buildings altogether.
Either way, he said the district probably won’t manage to finish all the needed expansions at once. Instead, he said KISD might build out the core of a campus with the intention to add additional classroom wings as homes are finished in the district.
School board president Eric Borchardt, speaking during the Oct. 14 board meeting, said the district doesn’t want to be shackled with hefty construction costs if developers eventually pull out.
“You don’t want to build a school and keep it shut and not use it,” Davis said Wednesday.
That puts Krum ISD in a precarious position as to when it must start the construction process. Start too early and the homes might not materialize; start too late and you’re stuck with overcrowded schools.
“We don’t have the option to say, ‘Sorry, we don’t have room for your kids,’” Davis said.
He said the district will soon select members for a committee that will look into the district’s options. At least part of construction projections rely on an uncertain economy.
Davis said the economic stagnation the ongoing pandemic might cause could stifle some or all of the growth Krum ISD seems to have headed its way over the coming decade.
Assuming it doesn’t, the district would need to have one or more bond elections to allow it take on the kind of debt necessary to build all the schools 6,000 or so new students need.
“I know that’s different than what you folks who grew up in Krum schools probably visualized in your lifetimes,” he said during the Oct. 14 board meeting. “But that’s what’s about to happen.”