Humble ISD is already putting a portion of recently passed bond money to work while the Army Corp of Engineers asks residents to stay away from the Townsen Road location of the San Jacinto River during major dredging-station construction.
Those were two major topics discussed at the Lake Houston Chamber’s Kingwood BizCom Aug. 2 at Kingwood Park High School.
Work began early this summer at Humble ISD to secure all visitor entries at all high school campuses.
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Roger Brown outlined, with photos, new “push-button” security systems being installed. He said Lakeland Elementary and the Ag Barn are being rebuilt, new classrooms are being added to Atascocita High, new field turf is being installed at all high schools, and the district’s technology is being upgraded.
The district is using $125 million of the $575 million approved by voters in May, according to Brown.
Emphasizing that the bonds will not increase school taxes, Brown said the district is setting up a timeline and bundling projects to get a “bigger bang for our buck.”
When asked about installing metal detector scanning systems in the schools, Brown responded that Humble is looking at schools already scanning students as they enter.
“Our concern is how to successfully and efficiently scan our thousands of students,” he said. “Aldine, for example, has screened students for some time and we can learn from them and other districts.”
Brown invited residents to the district’s 100th anniversary kick-off party Aug. 25 at the Humble Civic Center, which will include food trucks, exhibits, an all-school pep rally, and a community concert featuring the 59 North Band.
Chuck Gilman with the San Jacinto River Authority and Lt. Col. Mark Williford of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detailed dredging and flood mitigation projects currently underway.
Gilman, a civil engineer on the job for three months, said the short-term solution is the temporary lowering of Lake Conroe – 1 foot lower in the spring and 2 feet lower in the fall.
Long-term solutions involve three projects, he said. Updating floodplain information on streams, including how quickly water moves downstream to Lake Houston, is one of them.
A second includes five Montgomery and Harris county MUD districts studying Spring Creek, possibly building a reservoir to hold extra water, and developing algorithms to forecast how much water should be released.
A third project, Gilman said, is a regional study by the river authority, the City of Houston and Montgomery County to review all watersheds and streams flowing into Lake Houston.
Williford cautioned residents to avoid the staging area at the San Jacinto near Townsen Road where 200 trucks are moving 100 loads of stone and 18 loads of pipe to begin dredging.
“You’ll soon see floating platforms on barges in the San Jacinto,” said Williford. “The pipes will remove the debris. Buoys will mark where submerged pipelines are located.”
Williford had two final words to the public about visiting the dredging site, “It’s dangerous.”
Kingwood BizCom also included renderings of Kingwood and Deerwood country clubs’ impressive-looking clubhouses. While the courses are open, the clubhouses have been completely rebuilt, according to General Manager Blake Roberts and Golf Director Steven Hatch. Deerwood will open Oct. 1 and Kingwood will be finished at the beginning of 2019.
“We’re going as fast as we can,” said Hatch. “When we’re done, we want to be the center of our community.”
Kingwood Medical Center, meanwhile, has opened their new neurology and cardiology floor in the South Tower. A new emergency center will open in Cleveland during the second quarter of 2019 and the hospital will begin the process of becoming a Level 2 trauma center, according to Chief Operating Officer Justin Brewer.
Finally, Principal Lisa Drabing bragged on Kingwood Park during BizCom.
“I am so proud of our students,” she said. “The UIL [University Interscholastic League] presents the Lone Star Cup each year to six high schools based on their overall athletic and academic programs, one in each of the six UIL classifications. Kingwood Park is a 5A school and we rated third place out of 253 schools.”
Considering what students went through last year, Drabing said, it would have been easy to settle for mediocracy.
“I am so looking forward to another great year,” she told Kingwood BizCom.
The next Kingwood BizCom will be Dec. 6 at Kingwood High School. There is no charge, but registration is required. To attend the Humble, Kingwood, Atascocita or Summer Creek BizComs, visit lakehouston.org.