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Mith242

Growth Projections for Northwest Arkansas

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An analysis from the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the U of A was discussed in Rogers today. A 50 year projection showed the MSA of northwest Arkansas comparable to Tulsa's and would have nearly one million people. There was also a breakdown for some projections of the individual cities for 20 and 50 years.

----------------2025--------2055--

Rogers-------86,000------132,000

Bentonville--44,000--------67,000

Springdale---68,000-------92,000

Fayetteville--89,000------121,000

Seems a bit hard to believe. Of course these are projections and there are many people who could argue whether northwest Arkansas could handle such continued growth. Especially over such a long period of time. Although the 2025 figure for Springdale seems a bit low to me. There are already people estimating that Springdale is around 55,000 to 60,000 now. Seems like they could do better than 8,000 to 13,000 in 20 years.

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A while back ago Johnny had mentioned something about the possibility of the metro here in northwest Arkansas passing up the Little Rock metro sometime down the line. I thought he was jumping the gun a bit. I guess it's still hard for me to imagine the possibility of having almost one million people up here around 2050.

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One the map (ignore the 'we are here') and you can see how it is relatively flat to the west of the metro area compared to the east and certainly the south.

NWA_map1.gif

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I'm not sure of much but I can guarantee you these predictions are way off for several reasons.

The hispanic boom in Springdale and to a lesser extent Rogers will drive people away from these areas though most of Rogers will still do well. Springdale really visualizes itself as the center of NWA and thinks it will exceed 100k and I just don't see that happening. Fayetteville will continue its moderate growth pattern as more jobs are being created in Benton Co because it is a great place to live and has more cultural opportunities. Benton Co will still boom overall and you will start to see a lot of development across the Missouri border and west of the present I-540 corridor.

Ultimately, I think these projections are unrealistic because much of NWA's future growth will occur in the county and smaller adjacent communities. The growth will still occur, just in different places.

Of course, so much is contingent on continued growth of Wal-Mart and especially on its continued presence as well as the other NWA companies.

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I'm not sure of much but I can guarantee you these predictions are way off for several reasons.

The hispanic boom in Springdale and to a lesser extent Rogers will drive people away from these areas though most of Rogers will still do well.  Springdale really visualizes itself as the center of NWA and thinks it will exceed 100k and I just don't see that happening. Fayetteville will continue its moderate growth pattern as more jobs are being created in Benton Co because it is a great place to live and has more cultural opportunities.  Benton Co will still boom overall and you will start to see a lot of development across the Missouri border and west of the present I-540 corridor.

Ultimately,  I think these projections are unrealistic because much of NWA's future growth will occur in the county and smaller adjacent communities.  The growth will still occur, just in different places.

Of course, so much is contingent on continued growth of Wal-Mart and especially on its continued presence as well as the other NWA companies.

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Yeah it is pretty far into the future, so I'm not getting my hopes up or anything. And it is hard to tell what type of things will happen in the future to effect growth here. Fayetteville will probably never have huge amounts of growth because they purprosely stunt some growth to keep it at more managable levels. I'm also starting to see some sources list the MSA up here as including Madison County, AR and McDonald County up in Missouri. You would think that things would eventually slow down at some point. But then again I think many people also thought that would have happened a while back. Guess we'll just have to sit back and see.

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I'd say some of these predictions actually seem too low (esp. for 2055). Then again, it is the CITY population.

Some statistics:

2000 2003 %chg Rank county in Arkansas

Benton County: 153,406 172,003 12.1% 1

Washington: 157,715 169,683 7.6% 2

This is over a period of three years. The national average is 3%.

In the 90s, Benton country grew 57%. Washington 39%.

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I'd say some of these predictions actually seem too low (esp. for 2055).  Then again, it is the CITY population.     

Some statistics:

                        2000      2003      %chg  Rank county in Arkansas

Benton County:  153,406 172,003  12.1%              1

Washington:      157,715  169,683    7.6%              2

This is over a period of three years.  The national average is 3%. 

In the 90s, Benton country grew 57%. Washington 39%.

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I guess it's just trying to figure out when there might be an eventual slowdown and so on. But I do think that Springdale's population projections are rather low compared to the others. There are some people already predicting that they are close to 60,000-62,000. If that's true then it just seems odd to have such slow growth for them in the next 20 years.

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I guess it's just trying to figure out when there might be an eventual slowdown and so on.  But I do think that Springdale's population projections are rather low compared to the others.  There are some people already predicting that they are close to 60,000-62,000.  If that's true then it just seems odd to have such slow growth for them in the next 20 years.

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Springdale is less progressive than the other 3 cities and the older areas of town are run down. Urban planning is terrible with chicken plants in residential areas and no true commercial district. Add in the large Hispanic population and I think you'll see a lot of flight out of Springdale to the other cities at some point. Parts of 71 look more like Miami than NWA. Springdale is being overly aggressive planning for a population of 100k by building schools, etc and doing too little to improve the city to attract people.

Incidentally, Springdale has been pushing statistics for years that had them hitting 100,000 in 2025.

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Funny, I just had two teachers move to Springdale for the new International Baucclerate school they built up there.

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Springdale is less progressive than the other 3 cities and the older areas of town are run down.  Urban planning is terrible with chicken plants in residential areas and no true commercial district.  Add in the large Hispanic population and I think you'll see a lot of flight out of Springdale to the other cities at some point.  Parts of 71 look more like Miami than NWA. Springdale is being overly aggressive planning for a population of 100k by building schools, etc and doing too little to improve the city to attract people.

Incidentally, Springdale has been pushing statistics for years that had them hitting 100,000 in 2025.

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I think it's still having a hard time not being just a bedroom community for Fayetteville. Having cheaper housing and real estate prices are what's driving it's population growht.

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Funny, I just had two teachers move to Springdale for the new International Baucclerate school they built up there.

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Article quoting these figures in the Rogers Hometown News...sounds like they're really looking forward to a lot (more) hispanics moving here to NWA.

As for Springdale...they're the first community here to actually do something progressive, IMO, in their educational system by building a second high school rather than just shoehorning more children into one building complex (no matter how nice that complex is). It will be interesting to see how the situation in that city plays out.

Saw where Wagon Wheel Road is getting new developments as well...oh well, what place north of West Fork isn't?

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Article quoting these figures in the Rogers Hometown News...sounds like they're really looking forward to a lot (more) hispanics moving here to NWA.

As for Springdale...they're the first community here to actually do something progressive, IMO, in their educational system by building a second high school rather than just shoehorning more children into one building complex (no matter how nice that complex is).  It will be interesting to see how the situation in that city plays out.

Saw where Wagon Wheel Road is getting new developments as well...oh well, what place north of West Fork isn't?

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Nice article, also nice to see someone acknowledge the hispanic growth and not act like it's a horrible thing and the end of the world. I think most of the area has done pretty well with all the growth. They are building new schools all the time up here. I think Springdale got their high school done first because they had the biggest one. It sounds like all the major cities up here are already planning another high school except for Fayetteville. But Fayetteville is a bit different than the other cities with it's school districts. Fayetteville already had well established suburbs who statrted their own school districts, where the other northwest Arkansas cities didn't. Fayetteville's school district also isn't growing quite as rapidly as other cities. But I imagine they'll have to think about another high school eventually.

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Article quoting these figures in the Rogers Hometown News...sounds like they're really looking forward to a lot (more) hispanics moving here to NWA.

As for Springdale...they're the first community here to actually do something progressive, IMO, in their educational system by building a second high school rather than just shoehorning more children into one building complex (no matter how nice that complex is).  It will be interesting to see how the situation in that city plays out.

Saw where Wagon Wheel Road is getting new developments as well...oh well, what place north of West Fork isn't?

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I don't know how much this is true but I've heard from some friends up there the new school district boundaries are erratically drawn so that nearly all of the Hispanics will be in one school, a bit of preemptive desegregation.

Benton Co DOES need more schools. the problem is that neither Rogers or Bentonville wants to lose its edge by going small. I don't think a Benton Co magnet school is a bad idea but it won't happen. The problem is too little involvement of the county as a whole in the schools when so many county residents that don't live in Bentonville or Rogers attend those schools.

Springdale shouldn't build a third HS as planned until they see how things go. I really see Springdale growth leveling off when compared to the other cities up there.

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I don't know how much this is true but I've heard from some friends up there the new school district boundaries are erratically drawn so that nearly all of the Hispanics will be in one school, a bit of preemptive desegregation.

Benton Co DOES need more schools.  the problem is that neither Rogers or Bentonville wants to lose its edge by going small.  I don't think a Benton Co magnet school is a bad idea but it won't happen.  The problem is too little involvement of the county as a whole in the schools when so many county residents that don't live in Bentonville or Rogers attend those schools.

Springdale shouldn't build a third HS as planned until they see how things go.  I really see Springdale growth leveling off when compared to the other cities up there.

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A bigger problem up here seems to be kids having to go to schools further away from them because the ones the live closest to are filled. They did a story on this one the local NBC station. They just built this school here in Fayetteville last year and now they are having problems being able to keep all the kids who want to go to it. They interviewed this one woman who had recently moved here and was practically next door to the school and she just assumed her kids would go there. Then she found out the school was pretty full and her kids might have to go elsewhere even though she lives nextdoor. But the whole thing has caused a lot of problems for the area. Around 5 years ago people kept thinking growth would slow down and they should wait to build more schools. Then of course the growth actually increased and left a lot of areas scrambling to build new schools as quickly as possible. There's a fine line between going crazy and building too many schools especially if the growth suddenly stopped and being able to try to stay ahead of all the growth that's happening. You'd be surprised how many new schools already have those temporary movable classrooms located at their schools.

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It looks like Springdale might actually be putting a few brakes on their own growth. They are now talking about having impact fees. Fayetteville and Bentonville already have them. If Springdale inacts them too that would leave Rogers as the only one of the bigger cities here that don't have them. That was the biggest thing that Springdale is starting to talk about but with the other topics it looks like they are wanting to actually start taking a closer look to all their growth.

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I don't know how much this is true but I've heard from some friends up there the new school district boundaries are erratically drawn so that nearly all of the Hispanics will be in one school, a bit of preemptive desegregation.

Benton Co DOES need more schools.  the problem is that neither Rogers or Bentonville wants to lose its edge by going small.  I don't think a Benton Co magnet school is a bad idea but it won't happen.  The problem is too little involvement of the county as a whole in the schools when so many county residents that don't live in Bentonville or Rogers attend those schools.

Springdale shouldn't build a third HS as planned until they see how things go.  I really see Springdale growth leveling off when compared to the other cities up there.

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Yep. That's a problem here too. When riding the Lakeside bus from school to my friend's lakehouse, we would drive through miles and miles of Hot Springs school district neighborhoods, and then it would all of a sudden change to Lakeside school district when we got to the rich lakehouses. Kind of shameful.

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Yep.  That's a problem here too.  When riding the Lakeside bus from school to my friend's lakehouse, we would drive through miles and miles of Hot Springs school district neighborhoods, and then it would all of a sudden change to Lakeside school district when we got to the rich lakehouses.  Kind of shameful.

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No doubt. I had several friends from med school that went to Lakeside but I've never met a professional that went to Hot Springs high. Shameful how they drew those district boundaries like that. Ft Smith largely did the same thing, but at least those made a little more geographic sense.

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Well talks of another high school in Springdale aren't going to go away anytime soon. There was an article in the northwest edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette talking about the Springdale school system. They were expecting an additional 350-750 students compared to last year. They ended up with over 1000 more students than last year. So Springdale might be left scambling to get more teachers and more temporary classrooms to meet the needs of the additional students.

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Well talks of another high school in Springdale aren't going to go away anytime soon.  There was an article in the northwest edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette talking about the Springdale school system.  They were expecting an additional 350-750 students compared to last year.  They ended up with over 1000 more students than last year.  So Springdale might be left scambling to get more teachers and more temporary classrooms to meet the needs of the additional students.

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My two cents on this one is that Benton Co probably needs another HS more.

Now, what NWA REALLY needs is a top notch college prep private school along the lines of Catholic, PA, or Episcopal in Little Rock. Shiloh Christian really is more comparable to CAC or Arkansas Baptist, more of a Christian school but not true "college prep". I would consider it a negative if I were to move to NWA as I think the public schools are good but I really would prefer a college prep school for my son, who is 1. One thing alluring about Dallas and Little Rock are the excellent private schools. Of course, one thing keeping NWA from having a comparable school is the decreased demand due to good public schools.

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My two cents on this one is that Benton Co probably needs another HS more.

Now, what NWA REALLY needs is a top notch college prep private school along the lines of Catholic, PA, or Episcopal in Little Rock.  Shiloh Christian really is more comparable to CAC or Arkansas Baptist, more of a Christian school but not true "college prep".  I would consider it a negative if I were to move to NWA as I think the public schools are good but I really would prefer a college prep school for my son, who is 1.  One thing alluring about Dallas and Little Rock are the excellent private schools.  Of course, one thing keeping NWA from having a comparable school is the decreased demand due to good public schools.

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I'm assuming it's probably a matter of time before something like this happens. Although I have heard that the public school systems tend to be some of the best in the state up here, I imagine someone will eventually want to set up some better private schools. Not everything is keeping up with the growth.

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I'm assuming it's probably a matter of time before something like this happens.  Although I have heard that the public school systems tend to be some of the best in the state up here, I imagine someone will eventually want to set up some better private schools.  Not everything is keeping up with the growth.

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Weird, though...remember when the Diocese of Little Rock (last year, year before?) said NWA wasn't big enough to support a Catholic high school?

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Weird, though...remember when the Diocese of Little Rock (last year, year before?) said NWA wasn't big enough to support a Catholic high school?

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You'd think that may change sometime soon. Don't know if the hispanic growth would help speed things up or not.

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You'd think that may change sometime soon.  Don't know if the hispanic growth would help speed things up or not.

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A substantial part of NWA's growth has been Hispanic. The problem is there is a lot of seasonal migration of workers in NWA back and forth between the US and Mexico and there hasn't been much development of a Hispanic middle class (yet). I met the family that owns La Huerta and they are a notable exception. Without a decent-sized Catholic middle class, I guess there's no reason to build such a school and NWA is predominantly protestant save the recent immigrants. That said, you would expect enrollment to be half protestant as it was at my alma mater, Little Rock Catholic.

If someone were to give a huge chunk of money to build it, though, that's a different story. Episcopal HS in Little Rock never would've been built if Jack Stephens hadn't donated millions. If you haven't seen it, that's one AMAZING high school campus. It's on Cantrell across from Dillard's HQs.

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A substantial part of NWA's growth has been Hispanic.  The problem is there is a lot of seasonal migration of workers in NWA back and forth between the US and Mexico and there hasn't been much development of a Hispanic middle class (yet).  I met the family that owns La Huerta and they are a notable exception.  Without a decent-sized Catholic middle class, I guess there's no reason to build such a school and NWA is predominantly protestant save the recent immigrants.  That said, you would expect enrollment to be half protestant as it was at my alma mater, Little Rock Catholic.

If someone were to give a huge chunk of money to build it, though, that's a different story.  Episcopal HS in Little Rock never would've been built if Jack Stephens hadn't donated millions.  If you haven't seen it, that's one AMAZING high school campus. It's on Cantrell across from Dillard's HQs.

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You have a point. It will take some time but I think we will develop more of a hispanic middle class. I've also wondered if this area keeps it's reputation for being good for hispanics if eventually more middle class hispanics from other parts of the US might eventually come here. They might not represent a large number but there are some hispanics from California that have moved here because real estate is so much cheaper than California. So they can actually afford to buy a house and not have to just rent.

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You have a point. It will take some time but I think we will develop more of a hispanic middle class. I've also wondered if this area keeps it's reputation for being good for hispanics if eventually more middle class hispanics from other parts of the US might eventually come here. They might not represent a large number but there are some hispanics from California that have moved here because real estate is so much cheaper than California. So they can actually afford to buy a house and not have to just rent.

Any thoughts about a possible College Prep Baptist or Protestant School in Northwest Arkansas?

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