Lake Travis ISD breaks ground on new middle school on SH 71

Map of Lake Travis ISD's new and third middle school on SH 71 at Vail Divide.
Map of Lake Travis ISD's new and third middle school on SH 71 at Vail Divide. (KXAN Photo/Candy Rodriguez)

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — As the Lake Travis Independent School District breaks ground on a new middle school on State Highway 71 just west of the Bee Cave area, many are wondering how the already-congested highway will deal with parents pulling in and out to pick up children at school.

“We expect to build 14,000 new homes in the next 10 years out in this area, 71 and Hamilton Pool Road,” said LTISD Superintendent Brad Lancaster. “With that comes two to three cars per household, it’s not hard to do the math.”

Lancaster says the district has been working with the Texas Department of Transportation to figure out the best way to avoid adding to the traffic issues, however, he says it’s inevitable that there will be more traffic.

“Those students are here already going to school in schools that are on Hwy 71 and FM 620 and I think it’ll just redirect the traffic,” said LTISD parent Kathleen Martindale, “hopefully even it out a little.”

The school will accommodate 1,200 students when it opens in the fall of 2019. Many of the students will be coming over from Lake Travis Middle School, which is currently above capacity.

Lake Travis Middle School’s capacity sits at 1,200 students. There are more than 1,400 students enrolled this year, according to school officials. Hudson Bend is the other middle school in Lake Travis ISD. Enrollment there is under its 1,200 student capacity by 30 students.

Enrollment for the district has increased 76 percent over the past 10 years and Lancaster expects that it’ll grow by another 60 percent in another decade.

The district hasn’t drawn up the new school’s attendance zones yet for Middle School No. 3. Those will dictate which students will transfer to the new school.

The district has also noticed a trend. Most of the growth is happening in secondary education meaning there are more middle and high school students than elementary. However, the district has plans to build an elementary school in the Rough Hollow area and expects it to open fall 2020.

Middle School No. 3 will be named in the near future, Lancaster says they will have a meeting to decide on the school’s name.

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