Balch Springs 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.
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.
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 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 portion zoned to Moss) of Balch Springs is zoned to Agnew Middle School (7-8) and Mesquite High School. All secondary schools mentioned are in the city of Mesquite.
Dallas ISD students are zoned to:
Students zoned to Lagow continue on to E.B. Comstock Middle School (7-8) and H. Grady Spruce High School (9-10).
Students zoned to Cuellar and Runyon continue on to Fred F. Florence Middle School (7-8) and W. W. Samuell High School (9-12). All DISD schools mentioned are in the city of Dallas.
Balch Springs Middle School will open in an area in or near Balch Springs in 2012.
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 in the city. 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.