Humble ISD is receiving $25 million to help protect Kingwood High School from future flooding. FEMA has approved a flood mitigation application submitted by the district.
“Every time we have a major weather event, Kingwood High School students and staff worry that they might be disrupted and displaced from their high school once again,” Humble ISD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said. “Hurricane Harvey was a traumatic experience. This grant will enable Humble ISD to finalize flood mitigation plans that will dramatically reduce flooding risks to KHS, alleviate anxiety and protect valuable community assets. We appreciate the support received from Congressman Dan Crenshaw for our application to invest in infrastructure improvements.”
Over the past 18 months, district leaders have been working with FEMA to develop a plan that would provide protection to the campus. Architects presented a concept at the Humble ISD School Board meeting in November that involves the installation of flood gates that would float up without electricity at Kingwood High School entrances when heavy rainfall occurs. The flood gates would be underground and not visible at all other times. The concept also involves waterproofing exterior walls and installing new backflow preventers. The concept has been used in the Texas Medical Center.
Humble ISD’s next steps will be to work with an engineer to refine the mitigation plan and to select the general contractor for this project. It is the district's goal to select a general contractor and engineer for the project in the spring semester. The engineering and general contracting planning will take about six to eight months. Construction will then begin next winter, during the 2020-2021 school year. The target completion date for the project is 2022.
The construction project will cost $28 million, with Humble ISD providing about $3 million. It cost $63 million to restore Kingwood High School after Hurricane Harvey. During the restoration, Kingwood High School students and staff shared a campus with Summer Creek High School for most of the 2017-2018 school year.
Crenshaw praised Humble ISD for seeking the grant.
“It’s been over two years since Hurricane Harvey tore through our community and left Kingwood High School students without classrooms,” Crenshaw said. “The school was closed for seven months, relocating sporting events and forcing students to commute to a neighboring school for the majority of the school year. While we cannot take back that experience, we can prevent future students from facing the same hardship. This grant will allow Humble ISD to make Kingwood High’s infrastructure more resilient to future weather-related disasters. Investing in infrastructure improvements like Kingwood High should be an example to other Houston communities that have also endured repetitive losses due to flooding.”