Both entities will take part in a joint meeting later this month, where they will address the issue.
City Manager Larry Morgan said Bullard has a proactive school board and council, which have joint meetings as needed — primarily to swap information — and work closely together.
For instance, he said the city may have more information than the school board does on growth patterns, and trustees can tell the city about things that would be of interest, such as an upcoming track meet. The city then could notify businesses so they know the event is coming to town, and the city could work with organizers, he said.
Mayor Pam Frederick said she’s proud the city and district can join forces.
She said they only meet when they need to and when there’s information that would be relevant to the other group. In this case, she said they called the March meeting because there are several developments that are proposed for the area that will bring families and students into the school district.
She said the city wants to ensure trustees are prepared and know what to expect as those developments reach fruition.
“The goal in the end is just to have an official exchange of information so that the school board can be fully prepared for these potential changes — this potential growth — but we want them to have it in an official capacity and not secondhand information…,” Mayor Frederick said. “We want them to be informed and we want them to get that information straight from the ones that have it.”
One proposed development consists of townhomes that would be located across from Bullard High School.
The plot plan has not yet been approved by the city’s planning and zoning commission and council.
But if it is, the mayor said the first phase could begin. By summer, she said she anticipates that the first phase would be off the ground. The entire project is expected to have homes for 64 families.
She said the city also is working to iron out details to get the proposed Heritage Springs development off the ground.
“There’s a negotiation process between BEDCO and the developer because he’s asking for participation in the cost of the infrastructure, but BEDCO is trying to get to a point they’re comfortable with,” she said.
However, Mayor Frederick believes Heritage Springs, which is set to go up in multiple phases at Farm-to-Market Road 344 and U.S. Highway 69, “is closer than ever to becoming a reality.”
Once completed, Mayor Frederick said the mixed-use development will include housing —possibly duplexes, townhomes and garden homes — as well as commercial property in each phase.
In addition to the townhomes and Heritage Springs, residential communities in Bullard are growing, according to the city.
Mayor Frederick said development is being encouraged in Polana Springs, and the Evansburg addition also started to develop. There are three completed homes in Evansburg, and seven homes are under construction there. The mayor said there also are new homes in Legacy Estates.
“There are a lot of developments that have either kind of come back to life or are proposed as new developments, and we just felt like the school district needed to be aware that there could be that many families coming to Bullard,” she said.
Mayor Frederick, who teaches at Bullard Intermediate School, said the growth is expected to be manageable rather than explosive, but it will need to be monitored by the district.
The district is approaching capacity or is at capacity on all campuses, Superintendent Keith Bryant said.
Five potential projects were recommended to the board — building a new primary school; expansion and enclosure of the intermediate school; completion of the master traffic plan; renovating the middle school; and adding on to the high school.
“Those are probably the five main projects that are going to be next on the horizon for Bullard,” Bryant said, adding that these merely were suggestions and the board did not decide anything.
“We do think it will be manageable… (but) if we have explosive growth, we would have to reconsider priorities. Most of the explosive growth occurs with children in younger grade levels. If so, the high school may be the last thing added onto.”
In the meantime, he said the district is trying to pay off debt “as soon as possible” in case there is a need for future bond issues.
The joint meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. March 18 in the Bullard ISD board room.