As reported by the Growth of Surrounding Areas Committee:
Another important question is whether and how the growth we have experienced will continue. While it is impossible to predict the future, the short answer is that the growth we have seen shows no signs of slowing, let alone stopping.
St. Boniface parish is not the only entity with a vested interest in the growth of the area surrounding the church. In order to get a grasp of the predicted growth of the area surrounding the church, we reviewed and evaluated studies conducted by other government entities impacted by the area’s growth.
St. Boniface is located in the geographic bounds of the Waukee Community School District, which closely monitors the growth situation in the context of planning for its schools and facilities. According to the district, currently there are just over 8,500 students enrolled in the district. This number is expected to increase by 2,000 students–nearly 25%–by the 2018/2019 school year.
Dallas County also has studied and made projections about growth over the next several years. The population of Dallas County is roughly 78,000; by the year 2020, Dallas County expects its population to be over 93,000. The County is planning that 95% of that projected growth will occur in cities, and that the mere 5% remaining will occur in the unincorporated parts of the County.
Stepping back one more layer, Dallas County also has made projections about growth in an area it calls the Des Moines West Suburban Area, which is defined to include Dallas County and the portions of Clive, Granger, Grimes, Urbandale, and West Des Moines that are in Polk County. The County predicts that the growth of the West Suburban Area will be substantial, and that the bulk of it will occur in the Dallas County portion of the West Suburban Area. The County estimates the current population of the West Suburban Area to be approximately 195,000 and predicts that it will climb to over 216,000 by 2020.
We cannot predict exactly what impact the massive growth indicated by these sources will have on our church’s membership. However, we do know that this growth almost certainly will result in a significant increase in attendance both at mass and Faith Formation over the next five years.