Humble ISD has plans to create a new Welcome Center designed to serve as a one-stop customer service experience for current and prospective families and staff, while adding additional workspace due to district growth and establishing internship and work sites for students.

The district purchased an office complex at 10203 Birchridge Drive that will provide 54,939 square feet of additional space. Humble ISD expects to occupy the building in 2018.

“We are thrilled to have found additional space in the heart of Humble,” Dr. Roger Brown, Deputy Superintendent, said. “This building provides convenient public access and is a cost-efficient solution. The property owner, Deerbrook Point, LP, was very cooperative in working with the district to support the community. This was a right-time, right-place opportunity for Humble ISD to meet needs as a growing district.”

Departments that welcome job applicants, staff, parents and community members will move from the current Administration Building and Instructional Support Center into the complex together. The complex also will provide a job site for special education students enrolled in the Mosaic Program, which teaches independent living skills to students between the ages of 18 and 22. The complex also will provide internship areas for high school students in media production courses.

At the new Welcome Center, prospective families and employees will have the opportunity to learn more about Humble ISD.

“As a growing district, it’s especially important to preserve and protect what makes us special – our culture,” Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said. “Beyond the practical aspects, the additional space will provide an opportunity to proactively celebrate and share Humble ISD culture and history with families and staff.”

The need for additional work space was identified more than nine years ago. Back in 2008, voters approved a bond referendum that included enlarging the Instructional Support Center as one of the projects. However, district leaders became concerned that expansion might not offer the best value. While the ISC could be expanded, there is not enough space on the property to provide a long-term solution with parking.

The district then obtained a price estimate on building a new 50,000 square-foot facility. The price estimate came back at $24 million.

At that point, the Board’s Building and Planning Committee suggested exploring the purchase of an existing building. Humble ISD purchased the Birchridge Drive complex for $4.5 million on June 5. The property includes a five-story building, an attached one-story storefront wing with direct access to close-in parking, a detached one-story building for hosting parent and staff meetings, and adequate parking for visitors and staff.

“The School Board appreciates the foresight of the Board Building and Planning Committee and district administration in seeking a long-term solution that saves taxpayer dollars,” School Board President Angela Conrad said.

Departments to be relocated into the one-stop center include Athletics, Fine Arts, Special Education, Human Resources, Community Development, Public Communications, General Counsel, Assistant Superintendents, Deputy Superintendent and Superintendent.

The current Administration Building on 20200 Eastway Village Drive will continue to house the Board Room, and will also include information-technology driven departments including Financial Services, Data Quality and Accountability, Tax Office, and Technology Services. Student enrollment growth prompted the need for more space. Since opening the current Administration Building in 2001, the district has added 14 schools and gained 16,500 more students.

The James D. Eggers Instructional Support Center, which opened in 2003, will continue to house curriculum staff members who interact with teachers.