Kingwood High School reopens after Harvey repairs, Humble ISD officials thank community at board meeting

A little more than six months after Hurricane Harvey dropped more than 30 inches of rain on the Lake Houston area, Kingwood High School reopened Monday, March 19, after sustaining significant damage.

During Tuesday’s board of trustees meeting, HISD administrators applauded district staff members, families, community and numerous others for their patience and dedication to reopening KHS.

“This has been an extraordinary year for our entire school district and community,” Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said. “Everybody has experienced it in a different way, and it’s been phenomenal to see this Humble ISD family come together and support each other in the way that the entire community has.”

KHS was the Humble ISD facility that sustained the most costly damage from Harvey, with floodwaters reaching 6 feet on the first floor and several inches on the second floor, Director of Public Communications Jamie Mount said.

Overall, HISD said it has incurred roughly $100 million in storm-related costs—$75 million of which came from KHS, Mount said. Of that roughly $75 million, it cost the district $64 million to dry out, restore and rebuild the campus, and the cost of replacing KHS' contents exceeded $10 million, Mount said.

While KHS was closed, more than 2,600 students and 250 staff members relocated to Summer Creek High School. Although the district initially estimated KHS would not reopen until the 2018-19 academic year, the KHS community only had to share the space from Sept. 11 to March 9.

Fagen said HISD was able to repair KHS at a faster pace because the district had funds reserved for natural disasters, so they did not have to wait for funds from insurance or the Federal Emergency Management Agency to begin repairs. The district is applying for FEMA’s Public Assistance Alternative Procedures (PAAP) pilot program to receive expedited reimbursement for Harvey repair costs, Fagen said.

Against all odds, the campus did reopen for instruction Monday, trustee Robert Sitton said. Sitton, who is chairman of the building and planning committee, said although KHS still requires a few small repairs, feedback from KHS and Summer Creek High School has been overwhelmingly positive.

The community is invited to attend KHS’ grand reopening celebration on Saturday, March 24, from 4 to 7 p.m.
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.


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