Get ready for rapid growth

Four years ago, my bride and I made what we knew at the time would be one of the most important decisions of our married life: We found a home in a community in the midst of a population explosion.

We chose to move into a newly built home in Princeton, Texas, which is in Collin County, nearly 40 miles north of downtown Dallas. We downsized from our previous abode in Amarillo. It’s perfect for the two of us.

What’s the point? It is that Princeton’s growth rate is unlike anything I’ve ever seen up close. The city’s population effectively tripled between the 2010 and 2020 census. The house we chose is in the middle of a subdivision that is still growing.

I came out of retirement to work as a freelance reporter for a weekly newspaper group. Only recently, my bosses at the newspaper assigned me to cover goings-on in Princeton. I am delighted to cover the news of the community I now call home.

But there’s a huge assignment awaiting me. It will enable me to cover plans for the Princeton Independent School District to deal with the population growth that is placing enormous strain on the district’s ability to keep pace. It looks as though Princeton ISD is going to present the third bond issue since 2017. Voters approved a bond issue election that year and again in 2019. I don’t want to get ahead of myself on what I project will occur in the weeks to come. I do, though, feel comfortable asserting that PISD has a raging tiger on its hands.

Our house is two blocks from an elementary school that opened in 2019. Three school years later, it has two portable classrooms assembled next to the playground. I was told that Lowe Elementary School basically was over capacity when the doors opened for the first time.

So it goes in a city that is bursting at the seams. The school system needs places to put its exploding student population. The city recently received voters’ endorsement of a city charter, which is a sign of municipal maturity for Princeton. Traffic in Princeton grinds to a halt during morning and afternoon rush hours along the major highway that intersects the city; the state has plans to improve traffic flow that cannot be realized soon enough.

My bride and I, frankly, are happy to witness our city grow, to mature and to change its identity from tiny burg to a community of significant consequence.

This is a first for us. We are anxious to see how our city grows up.