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FISD Acquires Land: 'District Can Build Schools'

On Monday night, January 14, 2018, at their regular meeting, the Forney ISD board of trustees accepted a donation of two properties, 16.364 acres donated by Devonshire and 13.94 acres donated by Gateway Parks, for future elementary sites.

Land purchase of 230 acres Additionally, the board approved the purchase of 230 acres northwest of Criswell Elementary.  This additional acreage provides substantial opportunities for future Forney ISD facilities.

“We’re grateful for our new partnerships with and land donations from Devonshire and Gateway Parks,” Forney ISD Superintendent Dr. Justin Terry said.  “The purchase of the 230 acre tract ensures the district can meet future fast-growth needs.”

Although fast growth brings challenges to a school district, it also brings additional revenue.  The increased revenue partnered with the district’s conservative financial management, puts FISD in a position to potentially build new schools in the future.

“The developer of Devonshire is very pleased that a new elementary school may be coming to a very central location inside the community,” President of Haynes Development Company Ron Haynes said.

Demographers projected Forney ISD would have 10,800 students by the end of October 2018, but instead, FISD surpassed that mark on the 3rd day of school. As of January 14, 2019, enrollment reached 11,240 students.

Gateway Parks “We added 933 students from 2017 to 2018, growing at almost 10% this past year,” Chief of Information and Innovation Kim Morisak said. “Our current plans include the opening of FLA this past fall, and the additions to Rhea and Smith that will be completed this summer, we’ll be renovating campuses in the short-term, and looking to build long-term to keep up with the fast growth.”

The short-term plan is to add targeted capacity in high growth areas. Construction will begin this summer to update facilities and add 10 classrooms each to Henderson, Crosby, Blackburn and Lewis elementaries.  

The expansions and remodeling are a 40% savings over building a new elementary campus  and target multiple high growth areas across the district.