Prosper Independent School District's second high school is targeted to open in August 2020, PISD Superintendent Drew Watkins said.
The PISD board of trustees discussed future high school sites on Dec. 12 at the board meeting. Watkins said Prosper will end up with six to eight high schools once the town reaches full population capacity.
“The community knows (building a second high school) is long overdue in terms of being able to start the project, but now we have local development,” Watkins said. “We haven't been able to have it sooner because we haven't had the economic and commercial development to sell the bonds to have the appropriate funding … We've already been authorized by the community to sell the bonds. We're just waiting for the local values to get to the point where we can sell the bonds, (and they finally have).”
Construction on the new high school is estimated to begin in the summer of 2018. The future high school will be located south of U.S. 380 off Coit Road. Watkins said the exponential growth of Prosper necessitates a second high school, and more schools to come in the future.
“We're already beyond our capacity we hope for our high school, which is around 2,200 students,” Watkins said. “We're already at 2,500 students … The numbers warrant us to build and get into high school No. 2 as quickly as we can.”
The school board still has to bid out the construction, but Watkins estimates the project will cost between $150 million to $160 million.
The operation of the second high school will allow both schools to remain in the 5A University Interscholastic League classification, Watkins said.
“The second high school doesn't (make Prosper High School 6A),” Watkins said. “UIL classifications are based on each high school enrollment. You're not classified by district. You're classified by high school. We're already over the 6A mark in Prosper High School. We have another year of 5A because we have two year alignments, so it will allow us to stay 5A at both schools.”
In 2016, PISD reached its highest student enrollment to date, exceeding 10,000 students. Demographers are projecting an enrollment of 19,000 students by 2020, said Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Michael Goddard.
“Prosper ISD student enrollment growth is still one of the fastest in the state, if not the fastest,” Goddard said in an email.