Humble ISD reveals preliminary renderings for North Belt Elementary rebuild, Humble High School complex detention basin

North Belt Elementary will be one of the first rebuilt elementary schools with the play-based learning design, which educators said they believe will lead to higher student engagement. (Courtesy Humble ISD)
North Belt Elementary will be one of the first rebuilt elementary schools with the play-based learning design, which educators said they believe will lead to higher student engagement. (Courtesy Humble ISD)

North Belt Elementary will be one of the first rebuilt elementary schools with the play-based learning design, which educators said they believe will lead to higher student engagement. (Courtesy Humble ISD)

Image description
North Belt Elementary will be relocated to 27 acres at the southeast corner of Old Humble and Bender roads. (Courtesy Humble ISD)
Image description
North Belt Elementary will be relocated to 27 acres at the southeast corner of Old Humble and Bender roads. (Courtesy Humble ISD)
Image description
The basin will service all four schools at the intersection, including Humble High School, the incoming $8.98 million Guy M. Sconzo Early College High School and Humble Middle School and Lakeland Elementary School. (Courtesy Humble ISD)
Image description
The wet-bottom detention basin could feature lights that change colors to coordinate with school colors. (Courtesy Humble ISD)
At Humble ISD's May 11 school board meeting, PBK Architects presented the board with preliminary architectural renderings of the North Belt Elementary School rebuild and the new detention basin at the Humble High School complex.

A play-based learning design

The district was able to add North Belt Elementary's rebuild to the district's $575 million bond referendum from 2018 due to unanticipated savings from under-budget bond projects.

North Belt Elementary is located at 8105 North Belt Drive in Humble on 10.7 acres; the new $38 million school will be on 27 acres at the southeast corner of Old Humble and Bender roads.

PBK Senior Project Manager Jeff Chapman said his team focused on retaining most of the trees, creating a winding driveway and designing forest-like features for the building, such as a green roof and stone accents. The campus will also include a virtual learning academy, where teachers can film educational programming for in-person and virtual learning.


"What we really wanted to achieve by this look is to really embrace where this property is," Chapman said.

Additionally, North Belt Elementary will be one of the district's first elementary schools being rebuilt to showcase a play-based learning design, which includes interactive pods with different themes such as rain forest, marine life and the moon. HISD officials have said they believe this play-based design coupled with natural lighting will lead to higher student engagement.

Trustee Keith Lapeze said it would be interesting to measure if the new building is going to have an effect on North Belt Elementary's student populations, as the students will be moving from one campus to another.

"We'll see old North Belt with this old rickety building—that we all know was this close to being in the last bond—to this just amazing facility," he said. "I'd love to see the effect of that, and if there is a measurable effect, then that's a game changer."

Centennial Elementary School, which opened in August, was also built with a similar design style. Here, Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said discipline data is "basically nonexistent." Fagen said the district should be able to measure the affect of the designs on engagement and attendance.

"I think we're going to see engagement; I think we're going to see attendance; I think we're going to see improved scores in all arenas," she said.

However, Lapeze said since Centennial Elementary opened in August with its first student group, the campus does not offer comparable data to the effect play-based learning environments can have on student engagement.

Lakeland Elementary School, however, is also being rebuilt with the play-based learning and is set to open in August. Lakeland and North Belt elementaries could be good places to study this, Lapeze said.

"I think that could be valid data on which we can judge the environmental effect on learning," he said.

Detention basin upgrade in Humble

Meanwhile, PBK Architects also presented an option for the detention basin that will be located at the corner of Rustic Timbers Drive and Will Clayton Parkway in Humble.

The basin will service all four schools at the intersection, including Humble High School, the incoming $8.98 million Guy M. Sconzo Early College High School, Humble Middle School and Lakeland Elementary School.

Rather than have it be a dirt-bottom basin, district officials said they wanted to look at turning it into a wet-bottom detention basin. This means it would largely appear to be a pond with features such as fountains, lights that can be changed to coordinate with different campus colors, a corner plaza to replace the current marque for Turner Stadium and a pedestrian walkway surrounding the pond.

Trustee Robert Sitton said the retention pond could also be utilized in creative educational ways.

“What we’ve been looking at in [the] building and planning [committee], for instance, is ... turning this into a lot of outdoor learning space, potentially the pond could become a fish hatchery for our ag departments,” Sutton said.

To turn the basin into a wet-bottom basin with aesthetic features, district officials said it would cost an additional $2.2 million. In a phone interview after the meeting, Nolan Correa, HISD's associate superintendent of operational support services, said the funding could come from multiple places, including from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, as well as partnerships with the city of Humble or Harris County Precinct 4.

"We just know it would be a wonderful facility for the community and the city of Humble," he said. "So at this point, we're just going to pursue all those avenues to see where we could get the funding to provide that wonderful space."
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.



MOST RECENT

The Atrium Center will be able to be reserved for meetings, conferences, weddings, anniversary celebrations, birthday parties and community events. (Courtesy Rockin’ AD Photography)
East Montgomery County Improvement District offices to be repurposed into event venue The Atrium Center

The venue will be able to be reserved for meetings, conferences, weddings, anniversary celebrations, birthday parties and community events.

Construction on the The Promise House, a day center aimed at assisting the local homeless population, will begin on June 14 in Humble. (Rendering courtesy of The Family Promise of Lake Houston)
Construction set to begin on The Promise House homeless day center in Humble

The Promise House will serve the local homeless community by providing individual counseling services, higher education and training classes, mentoring, and administrative offices for area families.

Taco Bueno sells tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and more unique items, including the Muchaco, a taco made with a soft pita-like shell. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Taco Bueno coming to Katy and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority has secured an almost $49.1 million bond to fund the upcoming Northpark Drive overpass project in Kingwood. (Courtesy Pexels)
Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority secures $49.1M bond to fund Northpark Drive overpass project

The board of directors also discussed $50 million that was earmarked in the state's budget to fund future dredging efforts in Lake Houston.

Sen. Brandon Creighton announced his re-election campaign for Texas Senate District 4 on June 10. (Courtesy Brandon Creighton)
'Unfinished business remains': Brandon Creighton aims at re-election for Texas Senate District 4

Creighton announced his plans to run for re-election to serve his third term for the 88th Texas Legislature.

Humble ISD Trustee Robert Sitton took his oath of office for his final four-year term on June 8. (Courtesy Humble ISD)
Newcomers, long-standing trustees take oath of office for Humble ISD board of trustees

"This community is genuinely the very best place for children, and one of the reasons why is because of people like you—all of you—who are willing to do this job for free," Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said.

Economist Elliot Eisenberg spoke about the economic recovery post-pandemic, saying this year's GDP growth will be the best since the 1950s. (Brooke Ontiveros/Community Impact Newspaper)
Economist explains housing demand, price booms in Texas, Greater Houston area

Eisenberg explained why home prices are rising at a June 9 Greater Houston Builders Association luncheon.

I-45 Houston
Houston extends pilot period for freeway crash towing program

A pilot program that aims to reduce wait times for towing after freeway accidents got an extension June 9.

Officials with the Harris County Justice Administration Department said they identified racial disparities in citations and use of force by law enforcement, among other areas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County identifies racial disparities in use of force, citations from law enforcement agencies

Analysis in the report included racial demographics in instances of consent search, contraband discovery, traffic stops that led to arrests, types of citations or warnings, and use of force.

Single-family home sales in the Houston area surged 48.2% percent compared to May 2020, when real estate was in the process of recovering from coronavirus-related lockdowns. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Houston-area home sales in May up nearly 50% versus last year

Single-family home sales were up 48.2% compared to a year ago, with 9,702 units sold versus 6,546 a year earlier.

Mark Mitchell, chief economic development officer for Partnership Lake Houston, will leave the organization this summer. (Courtesy Mark Mitchell)
Mark Mitchell to leave Partnership Lake Houston after 4 years of aiding area's economic growth

Mitchell's last day with Partnership Lake Houston will be June 18, but he will remain at the organization until his replacement is hired this summer.