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Belton ISD expected to gain around 5,700 students over the next decade

Posted at 7:08 AM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 08:08:32-04

BELTON, Texas — More and more kids are packing out classrooms at Chisolm Trail Elementary. Principal Elizabeth McMurty said they have around 870 this year.

“We need more rooms. That’s the reason we've added five different classrooms,” said McMurty.

“We have at least five campuses right now where we don’t have the room to add a lot more instructional space so portables will be the only option,” said Belton ISD Assistant Superintendent of Operations Michael Morgan.

Michael Morgan with Belton ISD said they’re overcapacity at Chisolm Trail as well as several other campuses.

Adding portables helps right now but it still doesn’t solve all their problems.

“You also put a strain on a cafeteria, your kitchen, your gymnasium,” said Morgan.

“Scheduling all of them to go to lunch and not have students eating lunch at 10 o’clock in the morning until 1:30 in the afternoon or how do they all get to music and PE each day,” said McMurty.

The growth is not slowing down, anytime soon.

Within the next decade, projections show Belton ISD’s 13,300 students growing to 19,000.

“Right now we’re continuing to build 900 houses in our school district a year. That’s projected to last for at least the next five years or so,” said Morgan.

Morgan said Belton ISD could see 700 new kids a year.

Now, they’re working with the community to figure out if adding a bond can provide money for extra space.

“We also have a process going on with our community, our bond exploration committee. We’re trying to come up with strategies to address those needs,” said Morgan.

Morgan said they plan on presenting their recommendations to the board of trustees.

He also said they are looking at other options to renovate and add facilities to the district.