The Dec. 12 Humble ISD board meeting opened with recognition of the incredibly amazing Creekwood Middle School Percussion Ensemble. The group is in its first year of existence, and was invited to perform at The Midwest Clinic, an international band, orchestra and music conference held every year in Chicago. The prestigious event has over 17,000 participants from all 50 states and over 30 foreign countries. Creekwood is the only middle school in the nation to be invited.

Much of the meeting was dedicated to discussing post-Harvey recovery efforts. The board gave a brief update on Kingwood High School renovation efforts to date. Students are on track to move back to the KHS campus March 19.

The board talked about slow efforts of insurance companies and FEMA to provide reimbursement for the flood damages from Harvey, estimated to be between $95 and $100 million, the largest amount of loss of any Houston-area district. Major damage was suffered at Kingwood High School, the Instructional Support Center, the Welcome Center and the agriculture barn on Woodland Hills Drive.

The district believes they will eventually be reimbursed for those expenses through a combination of insurance, FEMA, and other sources, but the timeline remains unclear. Nearly a decade later, expenses from Hurricane Ike damage in 2008 are just now being reimbursed to school districts. To ensure cash flow, the board approved the ability to exercise a $60 million line of credit with Chase JP Morgan, their primary depository, should it be needed.

Due to the extent of damages to District facilities resulting from Hurricane Harvey and the displacement of 2,700 students from Kingwood High School and approximately 60 staff members from the Instructional Support Center, the District has adopted an accelerated remediation and build back program utilizing the job order contracting method.

The superintendent recommended that the board adopt a resolution to address the issue of property tax reappraisal and the potential actions of the Texas Legislature.

Neighboring districts are doing the same. Montgomery County, The Woodlands Township and Conroe Independent School District trustees, who originally refused to even discuss reappraisals, all recently decided to also call for the reappraisal effort.

Regarding new school campuses, the board reported that they are trying to narrow down the location of the next elementary school #30. One of the last items of business for the board was the official naming of the new middle school #9 in The Groves subdivision. The school will open in August 2018 and was officially named West Lake Middle School and their mascot name is the Wolves.

Jacqueline Havelka
Author: Jacqueline HavelkaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a rocket scientist turned writer. I worked at Lockheed Martin-Johnson Space Center for many years managing experiments on the Space Station and Shuttle, and I now own my own firm, Inform Scientific, specializing in technical and medical writing and research program management. I am a contributing correspondent to The Tribune, a Kingwood resident for 12 years, and proud mom to two Aggie sons.