10-year report shows manageable growth in GRISD

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — When a housing and growth demographics report came out earlier this year, Glen Rose ISD Superintendent Dr. Trig Overbo was happy with the findings, especially with the housing boom projected to come to Somervell County in the next decade.

Zonda, a company that assesses growth in areas and what affects it could have on school districts, reports manageable growth figures ranging anywhere from 4% to as low as 2.2% growth over the next 10 years for Glen Rose ISD.

“I was surprised. I thought it was going to be more,” Overbo said. “When you see all the dirt being moved around the county, you’re thinking immediate growth and a new campus or whatever it may be.”

Overbo

Overbo said he’s spoken with other districts around the state that have faced or are facing similar growth issues to GRISD, and those districts said Zonda was right on with its projections. In some instances, some districts found the numbers to be correct but a year or two behind, so those districts shifted the figures up and are now right in line with their planning for the future.

According to the report, by 2031, the enrollment projection for GRISD is 2,748. Currently, the district enrollment is right around 2,000.

Zonda is predicting that 2024-25 will see a 4% increase, which is the highest increase in the 10-year span. The report indicates 2.8% growth 2023-24, and 2.2% in 2031-32. The figures in the remaining seven years range from 3%-3.6%.

“It was a pleasant surprise for someone like me because we don’t want that really fast growth,” he said. “We’d rather have it slow and steady, and that’s basically what that shows.”

Interestingly, Overbo said, the projection is very similar to what the district has been experiencing — 75-100 new students per year — for the last decade.

“As you look at that, and you look at our history, that’s what we’ve been for the last 10 years,” he said.

With the number of new homes projected to be built, it’s hard to pinpoint why the numbers aren’t higher. However, Overbo is guessing a lot of the new homeowners will be retirees or parents whose children are already out of school and who are drawn in by lower taxes, downtown attractions, ability to work from home and the overall scenery of the county among some of the reasons.

Having said that, Overbo indicated that some of the people he has spoken with who have younger children, the reputation of the school district is the main attraction to moving to the county.

With the Zonda report, Overbo said there isn’t an immediate need for a new school, but the district is currently doing a facilities study to find out how it can better utilize what it has.

“We could definitely use our space more wisely on each campus just because we have had space, and we’re growing into it,” Overbo said. “That’s definitely something we are going to do over the summer is look at how we are currently using our learning space.”

Also over the summer, Overbo said he and his staff will continue to speak with the different departments and entities throughout the district to see what their needs are, and with that information, along with the Zonda report and the facilities study, will begin to develop more concrete plans for future growth.