Quality of Life


Graduation at Garland

When it comes to education, parents trust the Garland Independent School District. Garland ISD serves the growing DFW Metroplex communities of Garland, Rowlett and Sachse. Garland ISD is the fourth largest district in the Metroplex and the 10th largest in Texas, but despite its size, remains dedicated to quality teaching and interaction for every individual student.

Magnet Programming

GISD has a variety of magnet programs at all grade levels. Elementary-level magnets include a mix of students who live nearby and students from all three cities who qualified for the magnet programs. At the secondary level, the magnet programs are usually “school within a school” programs, offering a mix of regular curriculum and specialized magnet courses.

Elementary and middle school magnet programs include:

  • gifted and talented math
  • science & technology
  • classical curriculum

High school magnets expand upon these offerings to include:

  • television production and broadcasting
  • law and criminal justice
  • concurrent college enrollment

One of the district’s most popular advantages is that parents are able to choose the campus they wish to have their child attend. The “Choice of School” period takes place each year in January for the following school year. Each year, between 97% and 98% of GISD students receive their first choice school!

Colleges & Universities

Garland offers tremendous choices for college education. In Garland, students will find the LEED-certified Richland College Garland campus, Amberton University, and Remington College as well as several diverse technical schools. Garland is also conveniently located to the Dallas County Community College District, Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, University of North Texas, and the Universities Center of Dallas.


Incorporated in 1891, the city of Garland is home to more than 236,000 residents, making it the fifth largest city in the DFW Metroplex and twelfth largest in Texas. In spite of its large population, residents value Garland’s small-town feel and outstanding city services. The city of Garland prides itself on the strength of its diverse neighborhoods and offers residents the best of both urban and suburban living. Offering a wide range of housing options, Garland communities include apartments, condos, starter, luxury and custom homes. The quaint downtown square, which includes a fountain plaza, tree-canopied walkways and shaded rest areas, offers residents and visitors a place where they can come together as a community. Garland is a diverse city working hard to preserve its traditional charm, while advancing into the future. Part of this effort is Garland’s Strategy for Vital Neighborhoods, a groundbreaking plan to encourage development and revitalization


Garland’s business community includes more than 350 manufacturing companies, many of which are household names, such as Kraft Foods, Valspar and Daisy Brand. Many products made in Garland are integral components of items people depend on in their every-day lives. This is why the City of Garland adopted the tagline, “Texas Made Here.” In addition to manufacturing, Garland has a very diverse business community comprised of various industries. Some of Garland’s largest employers include Wal-Mart Super Centers, Sears Logistic Services, Ecolab, Baylor Medical Center Garland and Garland ISD.


DART Rail in Garland, TX

Garland is served by two interstates (I-30 and I-635) as well as the President George H. Bush Turnpike (190 toll) and two major highways (Hwy. 78 and the Belt Line Loop).

The light rail public transportation system of Dallas Area Rapid Transit System makes getting around easy. DART provides fast, convenient service to work, shopping and entertainment areas in Garland, Dallas, Plano and Richardson. For schedules and information, visit http://www.dart.org or call (214) 979-1111.


The City of Garland operates under a Council-Manager form of government. City Council is comprised of eight council district representatives and the mayor. Each serves a two-year term and is limited to no more than three consecutive terms. The Council appoints a City Manager, a City Attorney, a City Secretary, an Internal Auditor, and Municipals Judges. Council members also appoint citizens to serve on various boards and commissions.

To learn more about the city’s local government, please visit http://www.garlandtx.gov.

Arts & Culture

Plaza Theatre

The Arts have played a vital role in the enhancement of the quality of life in Garland. With the completion of the Garland Center for the Performing Arts in June of 1982, the City of Garland began a trend among Texas suburbs to build local facilities where the arts would flourish. The Center houses two elegant proscenium theatres with seating for 720 and 200. These theatres can accommodate everything from Broadway touring shows to symphony concerts. The Granville Arts Complex attracts more than 170,000 patrons per year with two-thirds of the patrons coming from outside the Garland area.

In 2003, the Garland City Council named the Arts Center after Patty Granville, who has managed the facility since its opening and has been a driving force in the growth and expansion of the Center. In the same year, The Atrium at the Granville Arts Center was dedicated. The Atrium provides a magnificent setting for special events such as wedding receptions, fundraisers and conventions. The Atrium’s luxurious glass-lined lobby covers over 3100 sq. ft. The 6500 sq. ft. banquet hall is encased in glass on two sides and opens onto a spacious courtyard.

The Plaza Theatre, located on the square in downtown Garland, was donated to the City of Garland in 1991 by Sherri and John Skelton. It was elegantly renovated in 2001 by the City of Garland. The spacious domed lobby of the Plaza Theatre features a spectacular chandelier and a 350 seat auditorium.

The Garland Cultural Arts Commission was established in 1986 and has played an active role in the development of the arts community. The GCAC has also developed a grant program whereby meritorious cultural groups may apply for funding on an annual basis.

Recreation and Entertainment

Garland residents currently enjoy five recreation facilities, four swimming pools, Hawaiian Falls Water Park, a 13-court tennis center, 40 playgrounds, two senior centers, over 2880 acres of parks, a preserve, 73 athletic fields, three greenbelts, 20 miles of trails and beautiful Lake Ray Hubbard. The city also owns the Firewheel Golf Park, a state-of-the-art, 63-hole golf facility consistently ranked as one of the top golf venues in the state. Find out more about recreation in Garland.