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Spring is a census-designated place (CDP) within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Houston in Harris County, Texas, United States, part of the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area. The population was 54,298 at the 2010 census. While the name “Spring” is popularly applied to a large area of northern Harris County and a smaller area of southern Montgomery County, the original town of Spring, now known as Old Town Spring, is located at the intersection of Spring-Cypress and Hardy roads and encompasses a relatively small area of perhaps 1 km2.
In 1871, the International and Great Northern Railroad, built through Spring, opened, which caused Spring to expand. In 1873, Spring received a post office. By 1884, Spring had 150 residents, two steam saw and grist mills, two cotton gins, three churches, and several schools. In 1901–1903, the International-Great Northern Railroad opened, connecting Spring to Fort Worth. Spring, now with a roundhouse, became a switchyard with 200 rail workers and fourteen trackyards. The population increased to 1,200 by 1910. The Spring State Bank opened in 1912. In 1923, the roundhouse relocated to Houston, causing Spring to enter a decline; by 1931, Spring had 300 people. The bank was robbed several times in the 1930s; it was stated that Bonnie and Clyde robbed the bank once. The bank consolidated with Tomball Bank in 1935.
By 1947, Spring had 700 residents. In the 1970s, Houston’s suburbs began to expand to the north, and more subdivisions and residential areas opened in the Spring area. Some older houses in the town of Spring received restorations and housed shops. The Old Town Spring Association opened in 1980 to promote the Old Town Spring shopping area, which consists of the restored houses. In 1984 and 1989, the Spring area had 15,000 residents. By 1989, Old Town Spring became a tourist area. In 1990, the Spring area had 33,111 residents.
From 1969 to 1992, the Goodyear airship America was based in Spring from its large hangar visible just off Interstate 45. Takeoffs and landings were a major attraction and motorists continually pulled off to the interstate’s shoulders to watch. In 1992 the America was moved to Akron, Ohio, and the massive hangar was eventually torn down. In 2016, the hangar’s concrete foundation was still visible at the intersection of Holzwarth Road and Meadow Edge Lane west of Lowe’s Home Improvement Center.
The 1992 Log Cabin Republicans convention was held in Spring.
Primary and secondary schools
All areas within the Spring CDP are within the Spring Independent School District. Several elementary schools, George E. Anderson, Chet Burchett, Pearl M. Hirsch, Mildred I. Jenkins, Ginger McNabb, Northgate Crossing, Salyers, Lewis Eugene Smith, and John A. Winship, are within the CDP and serve sections of the CDP. Marshall Elementary School was scheduled to open in 2010.
Three middle schools, Bailey, Dueitt, and Twin Creeks, are within the CDP and serve sections of the CDP. All residents are zoned to Spring High School. Carl Wunsche Sr. High School is in the Spring CDP. In February 2017 the district proposed redrawing the attendance boundaries of its high schools; this would take effect in the 2020-2021 school year. According to the proposed 2020-2021 high school map, the eastern portion of the Spring CDP will be reassigned from Spring High School to Dekaney High School. Middle School #8 is scheduled to open in fall 2020.
Harris County residents with Spring addresses that are not in the CDP either attend schools in Spring ISD or Klein Independent School District. Montgomery County residents with Spring addresses attend schools in Conroe Independent School District. Areas in Klein ISD with “Spring” addresses are served by Klein Oak High School, Klein High School, and Klein Collins High School. Areas in Conroe ISD with “Spring” addresses are served by Oak Ridge High School on the eastern side, and both The Woodlands High School and The Woodlands College Park High School on the western side.
History of Public Schools
Originally Spring was served by the Spring Common School District. In 1935 that district and the Harrell Common School District merged, forming the Spring Independent School District. The Southwell School, the segregated African-American school, served Spring from the early 1900s until 1945. In 1932 the Wunsche family donated land to the Spring school district, and the Carl Wunsche School, serving middle and high school, opened. In 1947 an addition opened and elementary school students began to be served by Wunsche. Salyers, opened in 1959 as Spring Elementary School, was the first dedicated elementary school of Spring ISD. As a result of Salyers opening, elementary school classes were removed from Wunsche School. Spring High School opened in 1969, taking high school students from Wunsche. As a result, Wunsche became SISD’s first dedicated middle school.
Winship Elementary School’s classes began in fall 1972; the Winship campus opened on December 15 of that year. Jenkins opened on February 6, 1977. Hirsch opened in 1978. Anderson opened in 1979. Dueitt opened in 1980. Wunsche closed as a regular middle school in 1983, and it was retrofitted to become a multi-purpose school. Twin Creeks, which took the middle school population of Wunsche, opened in 1984. Smith opened in 1986. Anderson was named a 1989-90 National Blue Ribbon School. Burchett opened in August 2005. Bailey opened in August 2006 and was dedicated on October 15 of that year. By the spring of 2015, Spring ISD planned to have built a new elementary school and High School #4 within the Spring CDP.
Langtry Preparatory Academy, a private school, is located in the Spring CDP.
Area private schools:
- Frassati Catholic High School
- Founders Christian School
- Houston Peace Academy, of the Islamic Education Institute of Texas of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston – At Masjid Al-Salam (Champions Islamic Center)
- Elements Montessori Preschool
In addition St. Thomas High School, an all boys’ high school in central Houston, has a bus service from and to St. Edward Catholic School. In 2013 Saint John XXIII High School, in Greater Katy, also served the Spring area; Frassati opened in 2013 with the 9th grade and did not immediately serve all grade levels.
St. Edwards Catholic School
St. Edward’s Catholic School is a fully accredited parochial school in the ArchDiocese of Galveston-Houston. Founded in 1972, the school’s purpose has been to provide a quality Catholic education and to enable each child to reach his or her highest potential. St. Edward’s campus is located at 2601 Spring Stuebner Road in Spring. The school is set on 15 wooded acres, approximately one mile west of Interstate 45. School grounds include three classroom buildings – one housing the Preschool classes, one for lower grade classes, and one housing the upper-grade classes. Facilities also include a gymnasium, computer lab, library, clinic, and athletic field.
Northwoods Catholic School
Northwoods Catholic School, a private Catholic school in the Spring area, was located off of the intersection of Farm to Market Road 2920 and Gosling Road, in a 51-acre (21 ha) campus. It used a curriculum from the Legionaries of Christ. Established circa 1999, it was not affiliated with the archdiocese. It initially had 13 students, and was in a facility in the Ponderosa Forest neighborhood, an apartment clubhouse temporarily used as a school.
In 2003 it had 200 students. By that year its permanent facility opened; it had a price tag of $6 million. In 2004 it had 250 students. In 2005 academic dean Susan Horne became the principal, and the previous principal, Joe Noonan, became Northwood’s executive director. In 2010 it had about 230 students, with about 40% of them originating from The Woodlands. The building’s first floor had 44,000 square feet (4,100 m2) of space. Its 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) second floor, with offices, computer and science labs, and a library, was blessed on August 13, 2010 and opened on August 18 of that year. It was built in three months.
In the 2015-2016 school year, the school’s final year of operation, it had 268 students; it was projected to have 160 students for the following school year. The school announced on May 4, 2016 that it was closing, and a shrinking budget and declining enrollment were cited as reasons. It closed on June 30, 2016. An area developer who was buying land from the school got into a legal dispute with the owner of the land and with a Catholic priest.
Lone Star College System (formerly the North Harris Montgomery Community College District) serves the area. Residents of Spring ISD and two other K–12 school districts voted to create the North Harris County College. The community college district began operations in the northern hemisphere fall of 1973.
Harris County Public Library (HCPL) operates several library branches.
HCPL operates the Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library at Mercer Park at 22248 Aldine Westfield Road, south of the Spring CDP. The 10,137-square-foot (941.8 m2) branch opened in 1986. It was constructed on donated land. It was named after Baldwin Boettcher, a German settler. His descendants deeded the homestead to Harris County. The plans stated that the Boettcher staff would assist the Mercer Park staff in finding any botanical reference books that they or the public need.
The Barbara Bush Branch Library at Cypress Creek is located in at 6817 Cypresswood Drive in an area with a Spring address west of the Spring CDP. The 32,000-square-foot (3,000 m2) branch originally opened in June 1976. The Library was upgraded and expanded in 2002. Construction of the current library began in the northern hemisphere summer of 2000. The current branch was anticipated to house over 120,000 books and materials, making it twice as large as the previous branch. Jesse Sendejas of the Houston Chronicle said there was “a need to provide a more spacious and accommodating facility to Spring and its surrounding areas. That was apparent when county voters approved a $15 million bond for library improvements in November 1997.”
The Cypresswood Golf club is located at 21602 Cypresswood Drive in the CDP. The club leases the land from Harris County and maintains the facilities.
A water park called Six Flags Hurricane Harbor SplashTown is located in Spring. Old Town Spring is a popular shopping area in Spring.
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands is in proximity to Spring.
Old Town Spring is north of the city of Houston and outside Beltway 8. Many of the original buildings, some over a hundred years old, now house places to buy antiques, collectibles, clothing, and gifts.
The population in the Old Town Spring area started growing in the early 19th century when the Spanish and French came to trade with the local Akokisa (Orcoquisac) Indians. The small town grew consistently until the early 20th century. At one time the town had as many as five saloons and a gambling hall. The town thrived on the booming railroad business in South Texas and resulting industrialization.
After the Depression, Prohibition, and a relocation of the railroad headquarters, the small town slowly declined in population until Houston’s Oil boom in the 1970s and 1980s brought merchants back to the area to make the town what it is today.
This town is rumored to be known for being a robbery victim of Bonnie and Clyde. Though the bank building still has bullet holes from several robberies in the 1920s and 1930s.
In 2015, a parish of the Greater Church of Lucifer opened in the town, which resulted in over a hundred protestors. The Greater Church of Lucifer in Old Town Spring closed in April 2016.