The changes are evident. Every day Dripping Springs merges ever so slightly more with Austin in its quest to become the next Round Rock, Lake Travis, Georgetown or Cedar Park.
Austin has consistently been in the top ten fastest growing cities in America, with Georgetown and Round Rock both ranking in the top 15 fastest growing suburbs in America (according to USAToday), and it shows absolutely no signs of slowing, with an average of 159 new people entering the Austin area every day in 2016.
Simply put, Austin is in high demand. And this demand is pushing for more and more homes, markets, schools, etc., and fast.
If you live in Dripping Springs, and you haven’t noticed the changes of late, it is time to come out from under your rock and rejoin the real world. Our community has traded its farmers markets for strip malls and its pickup trucks for concrete mixers.
Not to say this is bad, it isn’t! It is just the natural evolution of a historically small town like Dripping Springs into a suburban giant of the city of Austin.
Economically, it makes perfect sense. More people moving into Austin need a place to live, and Dripping Springs is on the come-up. People want to get in while the getting is good. This means more homes, more strip malls, more income, more expenditures, more output, more growth, more taxes, more everything economically for the area! It is, for all intents and purposes, beneficial.
However, with those changes, there is some steps to take before everything is fine and dandy. We see it across the street from our high school’s front doors at the given moment, as construction trudges along on whatever is being built by the high school.
We see it on the 290, where lackluster traffic cones cause drivers to pump the brakes every day in new and unexpected traffic stops thanks to the construction of a new strip mall in front of Belterra. Traffic stops that caused a dear friend of my family to be in a terrifying car accident.
We see it in the school district, which has now accumulated over $200 million dollars of debt in the construction of Sycamore Springs Elementary and middle school, as well as its other expenditures as of late (including the likes of the new football field, etc). That figure also includes the debt it had remaining before the start of construction.
We also see it with the enormous growth of the area. 18,000 plus new homes are set to be built in the next couple years in the Dripping Springs school district area.
This type of growth is not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, but rather more of a mixed bag.
On the one hand, you have more prosperity and opportunity in the area in the future, promising more homes, more families, more money… essentially, growth!
On the other hand, that means we have more construction, more debt and more changes into uncharted territory in the present.
Take this as you will, as there is no clear answer as to how you should feel about the changes coming to our home. They are on the horizon either way, looming over us and slowly descending.
Personally, I will be leaving the state for college, and my parents will no longer live in the area, so the time I will spend back in Dripping Springs after I graduate and move on will be little with long gaps in between.
Maybe one day I will return to the Dripping Springs, far off in the future, with children of my own. It’s not a scary thought but a hopeful one to think that the area could be just as new to me as it is to them by the time I return. I’m not sure how nostalgic of an experience it will be, because I’m not sure how much of the area I will recognize.
If I had to guess… I would say that Dripping Springs has 10 years until its elderly community is scoffing at the changes it has undergone. The evidence is all there: floods of people coming in, more houses being built to handle the people, construction so that the area can be a thriving suburb, etc.
Dripping Springs has all the ingredients to be the next perfect suburb for Austinites to take over, and I see no reason for that not to happen.
Changes are coming to Dripping Springs. Whether or not the future of the area is bright? That’s up to you to decide.
Written by Jaxson Thornton, Editor-In-Chief
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