Is New Castle fastest growing Colorado town?
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado ” Dale Gray remembers when kids walking around downtown New Castle with guns was no big deal.
“We could take our guns, walk downtown and up to the cemetery and nobody would think anything of it,” he said.
Gray, the fifth generation of his family in New Castle, was born in 1963 and has lived there pretty much his whole life. He remembers a smaller, quieter Main Street with one school on it, two general stores, one drug store and no Interstate 70. These days, about 24,000 cars pass through New Castle on I-70 every day.
Gray, who runs the Gray Builders Inc. homebuilding business, said his parents’ generation could buy a home for less than $5,000. And even though he’s built homes to accommodate some of the growth that’s occurred in New Castle and elsewhere since he grew up, Gray misses the quieter days.
He spends a good deal of time in Alaska to work on a small land development business and get outdoors and enjoy the wide open spaces. It reminds him of a different time.
“It was just quiet and peaceful,” he said.
New Castle was home to just 679 people in 1990 and reached nearly 1,984 people by year 2000. Since then it’s just about doubled.
A community survey by RRC Associates of Boulder estimated the town’s population at 3,443 in 2007 and New Castle maintained an average annual growth rate of 8.9 percent since 2000. Some wonder if New Castle hit 4,000 last summer.
“Per capita, it is the fastest growing town in Colorado,” said building official David Hunsicker.
In 2007, there were 188 building permit applications for new single-family homes and 12 for new multifamily homes, according to planning technician and code administrator Tim Cain.
With 1,084 students, Kathryn Senor Elementary School is over capacity by about 50 students. The local school district plans to have a new elementary school built by next school year.
Most of the growth has occurred in the subdivisions that weave through the hills north and east of downtown.
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