One of the fastest-growing school districts in Texas is building another school. Northwest ISD broke ground Wednesday on its newest elementary school.
Northlake is one of 14 communities in the district, spanning three North Texas counties.
“That's who we are right now,” said Ryder Warren, Northwest ISD superintendent of schools. “And we don't see the growth stopping."
The groundbreaking for Lance Thompson Elementary School drew crowds, not only school and public officials and the developers, but also neighbors.
“One of the things we were thrilled about was they were going to build elementary schools for our students right here,” said Andrea Hinojosa.
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Hinojosa said her family moved to the Harvest community in Northlake, in part, because of the new school.
“We moved from a neighborhood that didn't have very many kids,” she said. “It was very important to us to have a lot of other families and kids. We found a mecca."
The new school is named after Lance Thompson, a young resident who died suddenly in 1987. His father donated the land where the school is being built. His parents were on hand for the groundbreaking.
With the North Texas housing boom, Northwest ISD gains about 1,500 new students each year. This fall, the total number of students in the district will surpass 24,000. The challenge, for district administrators, is staying ahead of that growth.
“Just making sure we have a plan in place not only for this school year, but we plan years ahead,” said Warren.
Northlake's continued growth, 3,000 new homes are planned down the road at Pecan Creek, will mean three more new schools in the town eventually.
“We've laid all the groundwork so when growth would come and has come, we actually have a plan to follow, so developers don’t plan for us,” said Mayor Peter Dewing. “We tell them how we want the plan to work out."
Lance Thompson Elementary School is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. Though they’re not quite old enough yet, Hinojosa said her two young daughters can't wait for their first day of school.
“This is a one of a kind school,” she said. “I haven't seen anything like it. We're super pumped."