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Katy Independent School District

Capacity & Growth

  1. How are future growth and enrollment trends for Katy ISD campuses determined?The district has worked with Population and Survey Analysts (PASA) for more than two and a half decades. The organization’s enrollment projections have been 99% accurate throughout this time period. 

  2. What is design capacity?
     Design capacity is the maximum number of students that would be able to occupy all regular classrooms and common areas (i.e. library, cafeteria, gyms, computer labs, fieldhouse, etc.) simultaneously on a campus. High school maximum design capacity is 3,000 students.  Design capacity for an elementary school is 1,030; junior high is 1,400; high school is 3,000.   Some older schools have smaller design capacities.

  3. What is functional capacity?
    Functional capacity is based on actual classroom and common area utilization. For example, a classroom designed for 25 students that is repurposed for a special education classroom may only hold a class of 15 students due to the materials and/or equipment used in that classroom. This scenario applies to libraries, cafeterias, gyms, computer labs, and fieldhouses as well. Currently, design capacity is used in standard reports, but does not reflect the functional use of a building. Functional capacity is 10% less than design capacity which allows for the best functional use of a campus while ensuring a positive learning environment, as this is what is best for students. 

  4. What is the methodology for determining functional capacity?
    Our equation is: "3,000 students X 10% = 2,700 students."  This is functional capacity.
  5. What do high school enrollment projections look like in the District’s most populated campuses if a bond is not passed in 2021?

2021 2025 2030

Katy High School (capacity 3,000)




Paetow High School (capacity 3,000)




  1. What do junior high enrollment projections look like in the District’s most populated campuses if a bond is not passed in 2021?




Katy Junior High (capacity 1,231)




Stockdick Junior High (capacity 1,400)




Haskett Junior High (capacity 1,400)




Haskett Junior High  (HJH) will open in the fall of 2021.  
HJH will provide enrollment relief to Katy Junior High and Stockdick Junior High.

  1. What does elementary school enrollment projections look like in the District’s most populated campuses if a bond is not passed in 2021?

2021 2025 2030
Bethke Elementary (capacity 1,030)1,080
Bryant Elementary (capacity 1,030)1,426
Leonard Elementary (capacity 1,030)1,182
McElwain Elementary (capacity 1,030)1,043

  1. What is the average time to contruct a new high school, junior high or elementary school?
    The average Katy ISD high school takes 3 years to build, a junior high 2 years and an elementary — 1 year.

  2. If growth predictions are spot on and Katy ISD manages money well, why are schools opened at above 100% capacity?
    In general, new schools are not opened at 100% capacity, but high growth areas do rapidly exceed capacity prior to the opening of a new adjacent school constructed to provide relief.

  3. Are the newer schools over capacity?
    Newly constructed schools in high growth areas soon exceed design capacity. Portables are utilized as a planning tool to enable the school enrollment to grow to support the construction of an adjacent school.

  4. Currently, when a campus or space is repurposed, capacity for students is reduced (which results in the need for more schools). What are the benefits of repurposing?
    This provides space for programs that allow campuses to allocate space for District programs.

  5. School designs appear to be based on space per child. The philosophy seems to have changed to a functional basis driven by the matriculation of programs. Should this not be used as a basis for justification of overcapacity and growth?
    Programs vary year to year. School utilization is monitored to determine if portables are projected to be required for a long term whereby an addition may be considered as part of the Long Range Facility Plan (LRFP). Campus programs do impact the capacity and is one of the components that contribute to the need for additional classrooms.

    *When designing schools, the District is required to follow TEA guidelines. TEA guidelines are represented in square feet per student.

  6. What are geo-coded students?
    The process of assigning information to geographic coordinates. For students, the geographic data includes a street address. Geo-coded students are tagged to their residence (street address).

  7. Is it possible to apply the programmed space of the new prototype schools to older schools to determine a standardized functional capacity for each school?
    No. Functional capacity varies from school to school based upon a variety of factors including: grade grouping, special programs, etc.

  8. Since new schools will be needed, will there be an emphasis on making each school different requiring new blueprints and costs, or will layouts be duplicated to save expense?
    New prototype designs are being considered. The new prototype is then proposed to be utilized for future schools in a refined repeat manner gaining constructive input from the previous school occupants. 

  9. How does each school determine how they pursue money for certain projects?
    Each campus completes a Long Range Facility Plan (LRFP) questionnaire. In addition to dialogue and analysis with department leaders, review is undertaken with technical personnel both inside and outside of the District. Campuses have two sources for projects. They can request funds through Maintenance & Operations or have a project considered via a bond.

  10. Why doesn't Katy ISD design the schools to accommodate with all known programs?
    When design commences, we design with the needed programs for that particular school in mind, but it would be expensive to provide space for all programs that might not even be placed at that school. 

  11. How have the sizes of traditional classrooms changed over time for a given number of students per room?
    The Texas Education Agency (TEA) determines the class size requirement. For grades 4 and under, the 22:1 ratio has been the standard for a while. They have changed over time; however, we do not have a historical report that we can provide.

  12. From a facility standpoint, how does Katy ISD currently quantify and determine what are wants vs. real needs?
    In addition to dialogue and analysis with department and campus leaders, analysis is undertaken in conjunction with technical personnel, both inside and outside of the District.

  13. Many of the campuses have portables. Is the use of portables a sign of poor planning?
    Judicious use of temporary buildings is part of Katy ISD's overall facility plan strategy and will continue to be as long as the District is growing rapidly. Placing temporary buildings on an interim basis allows the District to assess growth carefully before constructing new campuses and to open new buildings with enrollments that are large enough to make them cost-effective to operate.

TEA District"A"  Rating
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