Over the last ten years, Highland Park Independent School System has seen a 14% increase in enrollment. Dr. Dawson Orr, Superintendent of the Highland Park Independent School System, recently sent out an announcement to the mayors, councilmembers and city managers of Dallas, Highland Park and University Park explaining the drivers of HPISD enrollment. What are they? Students coming in from single family homes being built faster than light speed, and families leasing homes in the Park Cities due to a new policy at SMU that requires freshman and sophomores to live on campus. Actually, that’s a good policy. Students get into less travieso in the dorms than private homes unsupervised, I think. But it has opened up a lot of inexpensive rental property to families with children, potentially.
Enrollment in HPISD, one of the state’s most coveted school districts, has experienced enrollment growth from 6,172 to 7,037, a 14 percent increase. Here are 10-year and 50-year glances at district-wide enrollment numbers:
Here’s what Dr. Orr has to say about the proposed Highland House development:
We respect each municipal councils’ authority over the consideration of real estate development proposals, and we believe in working closely with our city partners to share enrollment updates and other information that affects us all. However, we do not believe that it is appropriate for the school district to advocate for or against specific real estate projects.
Many of our parents have contacted us with concerns over the high rise proposed for Preston Center. None of us can accurately project what the effect would be on HPISD enrollment, but according to the developer, this proposed property will target empty nesters and young professionals. In the interest of estimating what the impact would be if the project moves forward, we will use The Shelton condominiums, off Luther Lane and the Tollway, as a point of comparison.
The Shelton: 121 units (24 students spread over K-12)
Crosland proposed development: 200-240 units