Waste Management makes $60,000 donation to relief fund

Hurricane Harvey can’t keep Lake Houston down. The November Atascocita BizCom was all about the resilience of the Lake Houston community and how Lake Houston neighbors are helping each other.

More than 100 families received assistance since the Lake Houston Area Relief Fund was established, said Corinn Price, director of community involvement at Insperity. An additional 100 families have requested support.

Price spoke at the Nov. 2 BizCom held at Atascocita High School and sponsored by the Lake Houston Chamber.

“We’ve distributed all the money that we’ve received,” Price said. Insperity is now matching $2 for every $1 donated up to $1 million.

The fund is the brainchild of Price and Cynthia Calvert, owner and publisher of The Tribune, who both concluded that Lake Houston should create its own relief fund.

“We’re helping people in our community who’ve never had to ask for help before,” Price told the BizCom group.

Many organizations stepped up to donate to the fund, including Waste Management, which presented Price with a $60,000 check, “doubly matched” by Insperity. Additional groups plan fundraisers. The Overlook in Atascocita will donate its facilities and golf course for a tournament still in the planning stages but scheduled for Dec. 6.

At least 300 Lake Houston businesses were affected by Harvey, according to Pastor Jerry Martin, chamber board chair.

So far, 62 businesses have reopened, according to Martin.

“When you reopen, tell us,” encouraged Martin. “We’ll get the word out.” A website, lakehouston.org/lhabacktobiz, includes resources plus a list of reopened businesses.

Because of flood damage plus roof damage, Memorial Hermann’s recently constructed Convenient Care Center in Kingwood will open in Fall 2018, according to COO Noel Cardenas.

Lone Star College-Kingwood faces a $25 million price tag to repair the seven of nine buildings damaged, according to Oscar Ramos, dean of Lone Star College-Atascocita.

The Kingwood Library could be back in operation by spring, according to Beth Krippel, librarian with Harris County Public Libraries-Atascocita.

“Kingwood was one of four branches affected,” Krippel said. “Damage is estimated at $1.3 million.”

While not affected by damage, Atascocita High School faces its own special challenge, said Principal Bill Daniels.

“We have 3,600 students, 4,000 people on campus during the day,” Daniels said. “We operate 16 portable classrooms, four classes in spaces not meant for teaching, four teachers without classrooms. It’s a challenge, but students are happy to be here. I saw one student after the hurricane who said he could hardly wait for school to start.”

Dr. Brian Peters, principal at the new Groves Elementary School, expects his school to reach capacity soon since the school, built for 950 students, already houses 710.

Dr. Ken Hodgkinson, principal at the still unnamed Humble ISD Middle School No. 9 located in The Groves, proudly described the state-of-the-art school currently under construction.

The middle school, which he called a STEAM school – a science, technology, engineering and mathematics school that includes the arts, too – features balconies for outdoor teaching and large windows to bring outside light into school. There are no lockers since all teaching materials are electronic and, Hodgkinson said, there is no need for lockers. A community survey will name the school, design a logo and select a mascot, Hodgkinson said.

The next Atascocita BizCom is Thursday, March 1, 11 a.m. at Atascocita High School. There is no charge but registration is required; visit lakehouston.org.

Tom Broad
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Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.