NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – As the bell rings at Canyon High School, students fill the halls — too many students.
Comal ISD said both Canyon and Smithson Valley high schools have about 2,600 students, though they have capacities of 2,400. As a result, the rapidly expanding school district hopes voters will approve a $263.5 million bond package on May 6 that would, in large part, pay for two new high schools.
"We need to be able to provide relief by opening these two high schools," said Steve Stanford, Comal ISD executive director of communications.
The board of trustees approved the bond package on Tuesday, but it will be up to voters to have the final say.
District officials do not believe the bond will require a tax increase.
The plan is to have a 1,500-student capacity high school in the Garden Ridge area open in 2020 and a 2,500-student capacity school in the Kinder Ranch area open in 2021. The schools would be placed next to middle schools that themselves were only just approved in May 2015 as part of a $147.4 million bond package.
The high schools aren't the end of the district's expansion plans, either. The bond package also includes money to design a new elementary school and a "school-of-choice" high school. This high school would be smaller and focused on a specific area of study like computer technology or health services.
"Even after we open these new schools, we're going to continue to grow, and we'll have to address that growth in the future as well," Stanford said.
Lying in between San Antonio and Austin, the district is growing fast. Stanford said 900 to 1,000 new students enroll each year, and the district just surpassed 22,000 students this year.
By the 2026-2027 school year, the district expects to have more than 34,000 students.