COVER STORY | By Christopher Hill –
When we talk about necessity, it is crucial to comprehend the massive growth of the region. Across our country, the US government classifies metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for comparisons. In total, there are 383 MSAs in the United States. Our area falls under the title of Houston – The Woodlands – Sugar Land. That region encompasses nearly seven million people, an increase of almost one million people since the 2010 census. We are now ranked sixth overall, and our percentage increase over that time is the largest of any of the top 29 MSAs across the nation. Over 125,000 people move into our region every year, and that number is escalating.
When you have growth of that magnitude, infrastructure is of critical importance. Many discuss mobility bonds, which are essential features that connect home to work, but just as vital are the educational infrastructure needs of the region. A majority of the people moving to the area have children who need education and access to facilities. The continuing expectation is that our schools not just be built, but that they be exemplary places of learning.
We sat down with Jim Rice, president of Rice & Gardner Consultants, to discuss the processes that drive school development.