Kingwood High School has been granted $25.4 million from FEMA to pursue adding flood barriers to the campus to protect it from future flood events. The campus received about 6 feet of water during Hurricane Harvey and underwent $63 million in repairs.
HISD will pay the remaining $3 million of the project cost, per the district.
PBK Architects presented preliminary designs to the HISD board of trustees at the district’s school board meeting Nov. 12. PBK Senior Project Manager Jeff Chapman said at the meeting that the project would create 8-foot, self-rising barriers on entrances and windows, waterproof walls and backflow preventers to keep water from entering the school via plumbing.
The next steps will be to work with an engineer to refine the flood-mitigation plan and select a general contractor for the project. HISD Chief Communications Officer Jamie Mount said the district aims to select a general contractor and engineer for the project at the February school board meeting.
"The engineering and general contracting planning will take about six to eight months," Mount said. "Construction will then begin next winter, during the 2020-2021 school year."
The district aims to complete the project by 2022, per the district release.
Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said in a statement from the district that Kingwood High School students and staff constantly worry they could be displaced from their high school when major weather events occur.
“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,” Fagen said.
Editor's note: The story has been updated with additional comments from the district.