NEWS HEADLINES

Decatur ISD to hit 4K in 2023

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, October 20, 2018
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Decatur ISD is expected to add more than 500 students in the next five years, according to a demographic report delivered to Decatur ISD trustees Monday by Templeton Demographics.

The report projected an enrollment of 3,936 students by 2023-24. The district started this school year with 3,391 students.

“We’re excited to see the growth that’s coming,” said Decatur ISD Superintendent Judi Whitis. “This is a good road map to start the conversation on facilities.”

The district plans to hold a conversation with trustees, architects and builders Monday in a special meeting.

Whitis said they will be looking at the enrollment of various programs in the district, along with the capacity of various facilities for short- and long-term facility options.

“[The demographic report] will be extremely helpful in planning for future facilities, seeing the projected growth at the campuses,” said Decatur ISD School Board President Cheri Boyd.

The demographic report included information on the local housing market, historical enrollment data and enrollment projections.

Through September of this year, 347 homes have been sold within Decatur ISD.

“We’re likely to hit back to that 550 or 560 mark as you did last year,” said Trent Smith of Templeton Demographics.

“The number of new home have tripled in the district since 2010. New homes sales represent about 25 percent of home sales in the district.”

The average new home price is $290,000 and existing home is $253,000.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Decatur ISD ranks 45th in new home closings.

“You can expect that to stay about the same for the next few years, but that’s actually a pretty good surge for Decatur ISD,” Smith said. “You are going to be looking at 120 to 150 new homes for the next few years.”

Last year, there was 138 new home starts in the district. Smith anticipated the number to be about the same this year, even though the weather could slow construction. He said construction across the market is also slowing due to the amount of work for subcontractors, who are dictating the market, according to Smith.

“We do expect to see a good surge in closings over the next two quarters as that inventory has built up from the homes that were started last year,” Smith said.

Currently in the district, 140 vacant, developed lots are ready to build on. There are 540 planned lots with groundwork underway on 75 of those.

Decatur ISD added 319 students over the past five years, including 228 in 2017-18.

“Last year in your second-, third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classes, you had record growth at every grade level,” Smith said.

“Going forward, we expect you to grow by 80 to 100 students per year over the next 10 years. Within the next five to six years, you will have 4,000 students.”

The district is expected to hit 4,280 students for 2028-29.

TAMPLEN RESIGNS

In the employment report, McCarroll Middle School Principal Dewayne Tamplen submitted his resignation effective Dec. 2. Tamplen has been on family medical leave since last spring. Tamplen had led the campus since 2008 and was named Region 11 Middle School Principal of the Year last year.

Tamplen has worked 30 years in education serving as an assistant principal and principal at the intermediate and middle school levels and taught science.

FIRST RATING

The district held a public hearing on its Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas rating. The district received a B or Above Standard. Deputy Superintendent Cindy Tatum said the moving of $5.1 million to a local construction fund in August 2017, which lowered the district’s cash on hand supply to 40 days, led to the lower score. She said the money is still in local construction.

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