An initiative to complete the 3B Learning Center, an outdoor learning space for Katy’s students and an intended home for bees, butterflies and birds, faced some opposition from city officials due to higher costs than anticipated when the project began.

The details

At a July 10 meeting, council members said they were surprised to learn the finishing touches for the learning center would cost $384,305 to complete—nearly $35,000 more than what the city paid for the long-established Fussell Home.

“When the property was presented to us for purchase, I wasn't expecting this much in renovations,” Council Member Gina Hicks said.

Authorizing funding for the remaining work narrowly passed with a 3-2 vote.

The city will utilize both 2021 bond funds for building improvements and its capital projects fund to complete the learning center for public use. These works include:This project is endeared by City Administrator Byron Hebert, as previously reported by Community Impact. Though Hebert could not provide a definitive timeline for the work, contractors on the project anticipate it will take six to eight months to complete once construction begins.

In case you missed it

Katy officials announced plans for the five acres of land at 5402 Franz Road, Katy, in December 2021—shortly after acquiring the Fussell House for $350,000 in November 2021. Officials with Harris County Precinct 4 and Katy ISD advocated for the project at a ribbon-cutting in early summer 2022.

Development of the 3B Learning Center was one of the initiatives out of the parks master plan adopted in October. City Parks Director Kevin Browne said the property also functions as offices for himself and the parks and recreation coordinator.