If portables don’t return to Highland Park ISD campuses a year from now, you can be sure they’ll be back in two years. Superintendent Dawson Orr said so Thursday morning during the annual joint meeting of the HPISD Board of Trustees, the University Park City Council, and the Highland Park Town Council.
In 1990, the district served 4,225 students. Twenty years later, that number had swelled to 6,686. And 10 years from now, it’s projected to reach 8,574.
Orr assured the assembled dignitaries that the district does not plan to add a fifth elementary school — partly because it would be nearly impossible. Orr said Texas Education Agency guidelines call for a new school site to be a minimum of 5 acres, with an acre added for every 100 students. Armstrong Elementary, traditionally the smallest school in the district, has more than 500 kids on campus.
“Just the cost of the plot would be prohibitive,” Orr said.
So, expect portables to once again encroach on the green spaces you see on the various campuses. If the growth occurs as projected, Orr said, “we’ll be coming to our town councils and saying, ‘During the day, we need to be able to take kids to a park.’ “