BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — Camino Real and Colony Oaks elementary schools opened their doors for the first time this week, marking the first new schools to open in Bastrop Independent School District since 2009. The two identical schools, both with a capacity of 750 students, provide more space for a fast-growing district.
Camino Real, built in Cedar Creek, and Colony Oaks, located in west Bastrop, cost just over $64 million to build. The funds were approved by voters in a 2021 bond election. The schools have state-of-the-art security systems, green spaces for students, and are fully staffed.
“We are so grateful for our community, for our school board, for our district leader to bring a school to our community here at Camino Real,” Dr. Augustina Lozano, the principal of Camino Real Elementary, explained.
The schools hold Pre-K to fifth-grade students, which is a change from last year. Fifth-grade students were at intermediate schools with older kids before.
“It gives them more stability. The elementary is somewhat different than a sixth, seventh and eighth model, so we think that will have important academic and social and emotional benefits for them,” Dr. Kristi Lee, the deputy superintendent for Bastrop ISD, explained.
The district keeps growing
New families and businesses are relocating to Bastrop, growing the population of the town and school district. Dr. Lee said the district has seen between four and six percent growth every year for the past few years.
District projections estimate the district will be between 15,000 and 16,000 students in the next five years, and nearly 20,000 in the next 10 years.
Voters just approved another bond in May of this year that will build another two new elementary schools and bring upgrades to existing buildings. The last time the district built a new school was 14 years ago at Cedar Creek High School.
A hub for the community
Dr. Lee and Dr. Lozano said they hope the new schools will act as a hub for the community and bring even more families and businesses to the area.
“More families will want to come here. Businesses will want to relocate out here as well, and we’ll just see a change. This will truly be the hub of this community and I always think that is exciting,” Dr. Lee said.