After eight years, Frenship ISD Superintendent John Thomas announced Tuesday he is stepping down. Thomas' retirement will be effective at the end of the school year.
During his time as superintendent, the district has experienced a growth of more than 1,600 students. It's that school system that has helped Wolfforth boom over the past few years.
What started as a town of about 300 people in 1950 has seen a major population boom over the past eight years.
Since the 2000 census, Wolfforth has grown from just more than 2,500 people to an estimated 3,300 people. "That's about a 30 percent increase since the last census. That's pretty substantial for this area," Wolfforth City Secretary Debbie Youngblood said.
Youngblood says several factors contribute to the town's growth - with one in particular. "We have a really terrific school district. They have a statewide reputation, and we have a lot of people who take a lot of efforts to put their children in the Frenship school district. Our day time population is more than twice what our city population is."
Youngblood says their location to the Hub City also plays a large role. "We're on the southwest side of Lubbock and their traditional growth has always been to the southwest. So we are sort of in the path, and that's helped us quite a bit," she said.
Youngblood adds that the Wolfforth City Council is pro-active, and since they're a small community it's a little easier to actually reach the decision makers. "We try to do everything we can to encourage people to move here and support businesses that move here. The city has worked really hard to improve our water and sewer infrastructure to support the growth. We always sort of have our ‘this is where we want to be in five years' plan," Youngblood said.
But while the growth has been great, Youngblood adds, "It also creates problems because of that infrastructure pressures. So, you know sometimes it's hard to balance building streets and utilities for houses that aren't here yet. That's a challenge all the time - to walk that tight rope of providing adequate services on what you can afford to pay for what's here and planning for what's coming in the future."
As with any town water is always an issue. Wolfforth has 17 wells for their water, and nearly 20 years ago the city purchased farm land with wells that have not been tapped into yet. "We feel like we have a pretty good reserve, and we're always looking for the possibility of tapping into a source besides ground water," Youngblood said.
Youngblood says as city leaders watch the dirt fly as new homes and businesses are built, they will continue to keep a close eye on the city's infrastructure so they can support their much-welcome newcomers. "As long as the school continues to have the reputation that they do, and I don't see any reason that would change I would expect us to have continued growth," she said.
Youngblood tells us Wolfforth will soon be home to a new Holiday Inn Express. She also says a CVS Pharmacy will soon be built diagonal to Frenship High School.
Frenship ISD Superintendent Announces Retirement