Growth brings more demands

Princeton’s public school system has made it official. It is going to ask voters to approve a bond issue to build more schools throughout a district that is growing … rapidly.

The price tag is a mind-blower: $797 million.

Don’t spit out your coffee on that number. It is a realistic assessment of where the district foresees its short- and medium-term growth. The Princeton Independent School District seeks to stay ahead of the crowd that is moving into the Collin County community each day.

I happen to witness the growth that’s occurring in Princeton because I am part of the growth. Granted, my wife and I — who moved to Princeton four years ago — don’t have school-age children; our sons are now middle-aged men.

But we do pay taxes to fund the school system. Having made that declaration, I intend to vote in favor of the bond issue when it shows up on our May 6 ballot.

I had a ringside seat when a long-range planning committee met over the course of several weeks to assess how the district should cope with the growth that is occurring here. I attended meetings and reported on them for the Princeton Herald newspaper. I have stepped away from my reporting duties, so I feel empowered to express an opinion on the proposal the citizens panel presented.

It is a reasonable request that Princeton ISD constituents ought to endorse at the ballot box. The money will pay for construction of new elementary, middle and a high school over the course of several years. The school district might have to delay construction of some of the campuses because of limited bond capacity.

However, the district has promised to accommodate the growth through this bond package … and it intends to remain faithful to the promise it has made.

If the school district cannot progress with building these campuses, its constituents will feel the pain of watching the school system struggle to keep pace with the inexorable tide of residents demanding space to enroll their children.