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Balch Springs ( BAHLK, BAHLTCH) is a city in Dallas County, Texas, United States. It is a suburb of Dallas and part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The population was 23,728 at the 2010 census.
Balch Springs is located at 32°43′3″N 96°36′55″W (32.717381, -96.615154). It is situated approximately 16 miles (26 km) east of Downtown Dallas and 34 miles (55 km) southeast of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The city is bordered by Mesquite to the north and east, and Dallas to the south and west.
Major highways running through Balch Springs include Interstate 635, which bisects the city into two nearly equal halves. Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 175 run along Balch Springs' southern border.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.0 square miles (23.3 km2), of which 9.0 square miles (23.2 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.06 km2), or 0.27%, is water.
The area was first settled in the 1840s. Around 1879 John M. Balch and his family settled south of Mesquite in unincorporated Dallas County. Mr. Balch found several springs on his land, one of which ran year-round. Local residents began referring to the springs on Mr. Balch's property as Balch Springs, and use of the name continued even after he moved away a few years after his arrival. Around 1885, a county school was named after the springs. A small church and a cemetery were near the school. During the early 1900s, the community was widely dispersed and consisted mostly of farms. Electricity, provided by Texas Power and Light, was introduced in 1939. Gas and telephone service arrived shortly after World War II.
The community began to grow rapidly along with the city of Dallas and other Dallas County towns. To avoid annexation by Dallas, Balch Springs incorporated as a city on June 13, 1953. The new city encompassed the communities of Balch Springs, Zipp City, Five Points, Jonesville, and Triangle as well as portions of Rylie and Kleberg. A mayor-council form of government was adopted after incorporation. By 1956, Balch Springs had a population of around 3,500. The city was home to 6,821 residents at the 1960 census. In September 1964, a post office opened in the city and in 1965, the first taxes were levied. A 1966 attempt to disincorporate the community was unsuccessful. By 1970, the population had risen to 10,464 as the construction of new roads made commuting to surrounding cities easier. In 1988, residents voted to become part of the neighboring city of Mesquite, but the election was declared invalid. Two years later, the 1990 census reported a total of 17,406 people living in the city. The 2000 population was 19,375.
As of the 2010 census Balch Springs had a population of 23,728. The median age was 29. The racial and ethnic makeup of the population was 27.7% non-Hispanic white, 23.7% non-Hispanic black, 1.4% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanic reporting some other race, 3.3% reporting two or more races and 45.8% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,375 people, 6,175 households, and 4,828 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,404.7 people per square mile (928.1/km²). There were 6,504 housing units at an average density of 807.2 per square mile (311.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 62.90% White, 18.52% African American, 0.98% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 14.05% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.72% of the population.
There were 6,175 households out of which 46.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 20.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.8% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.13 and the average family size was 3.49.
In the city, the population was spread out with 34.1% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 5.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,087, and the median income for a family was $38,750. Males had a median income of $29,256 versus $26,611 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,476. About 10.7% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.
Balch Springs Fire Department serves the city with one fire station. This station runs one ladder truck, two engines, one Fire Chief and three Battalion Chief. The department has a minimum manning of eight fire fighters on shift 24/7. All fire fighters are certified as EMT or Paramedic. Balch Springs has 30 professional fire fighters, one Chief, and an Inspector. The Balch Springs Fire Department is a civil service department. The Fire Department responds and manages all fire and EMS.
The city maintains a police department.
The southwest portion of Balch Springs is served by Dallas Independent School District, while the northeast portion is served by Mesquite Independent School District. The two portions are roughly each one half of the city.
Mesquite ISD students are zoned to one of the following elementary schools:
Most Mesquite ISD students are zoned to A.C. New Middle School (grades 6-8, Balch Springs) and West Mesquite High School (9-12). Some MISD students (in the portion zoned to McWhorter) are zoned to Wilkinson Middle School (6-8) and WMHS. A small portion (the portions zoned to Moss and Gentry) of Balch Springs is zoned to Agnew Middle School (7-8) and Mesquite High School.
Dallas ISD students are zoned to:
Balch Springs Middle School was scheduled to open in an area in or near Balch Springs in 2012. Previously it was a coeducational middle school serving most of the DISD portion, while other portions were zoned to Fred F. Florence Middle School. In fall 2016 Balch Springs was converted into a girls' only middle school; boys in its zone were zoned to Florence, now an all-boys' school. Students from the former Balch Springs MS zone who wish to attend a coeducational middle school would go to E. B. Comstock Middle School while those from the former Florence zone would go to Piedmont G.L.O.B.A.L. Academy (formerly John B. Hood Middle School) in Pleasant Grove. In addition Seagoville Middle School serves both genders in a portion of Balch Springs.
Prior to the opening of Balch Springs MS, Comstock and Florence served portions of the city.
H. Grady Spruce High School, W. W. Samuell High School, and Seagoville High School serve portions of the DISD area of Balch Springs.
As of 2006 some Balch Springs residents wish for the DISD portion to be rezoned into MISD.
Balch Springs Christian Academy is a private school within the city limits that serves students from kindergarten to 12th grade, and uses the A Beka curriculum. Balch Springs Christian Academy is a subsidiary of Seagoville Road Baptist Church, which was established in 1974. Ten members of the school and church died in a flood in central Texas in 1987.
The Balch Springs Library-Learning Center is located at 12450 Elam Rd. in Balch Springs. The library, which has over 26,000 items, including over 25,000 books and over 1,000 audio and visual items, opened in April 2006.
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