GALLERY: Cypress Creek Christian Community Center facilities partially reopen, one year after flooding

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One year after floodwaters receded from Cypress Creek Christian Community Center, a complex at 6823 Cypresswood Drive, Spring, about half of the facilities are operational, and the autumn season has a packed schedule of events, CCCCC Executive Director Norma Lowrey said. The renovated Forum auditorium space at the center will host events for Klein Oak, Klein Collins and Klein high schools and various community groups this fall as well as several weddings.

“People are coming back,” Lowrey said.

The Forum auditorium, attached to the center’s main offices, flooded as a result of Hurricane Harvey last year, but because the 300-person-capacity space was carpeted and had wooden chairs, the damage was extensive, Lowrey said. Damage to the Forum cost about $300,000, and renovations were paid for with insurance money as well as donations, she said. The center is also applying to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for reimbursement.

“It got up to about 5 or 6 inches of the first step, and because it set for so long the seating was getting mildew and mold,” Lowrey said.

Among improvements to the facility, it is more wheelchair-accessible, and now has a wood floor, she said.

Youth center, other buildings

Another CCCCC building that has reopened is its Youth and Children’s Education Center, which Lowrey said sustained $250,000 to $300,000 in damage. The center served as a location for many of the programs the neighboring Barbara Bush Branch Library held during the summer because it was undergoing repairs of its own. This fall marks a return to the center’s routine, with the Houston Northwest Chinese School resuming classes on Sundays and other nonprofit groups like Drama Kids able to use the 10 classrooms in the building again, Lowrey said. The Cypress Creek Christian Preschool, which had previously operated at the building, did not resume classes this fall after last year’s flooding, she said.

Two additional nonprofit organizations that are using CCCCC facilities for the first time this year are Lyle Foundation and Keystone Health Care.

The center’s small chapel, used for small weddings, also sustained about 10 inches of water damage and has undergone repairs to its flooring and walls, Lowrey said.

The larger performance space in the CCCCC complex, The Centrum, which seats more than 800 guests, experienced more severe flooding and a reopening date has not yet been established for the building, she said. The facility was used by Cypress Creek Foundation for the Arts and Community Enrichment, a nonprofit organization that has found other venues for its performances in the past year.

Work on the center’s gymnasium is also still in progress, and a reopening date has not been announced.

“We’ve applied for grants and we’ve applied for FEMA, so we have to wait and see where that goes,” said Diane Lipton, chairwoman of the CCCCC board.

About the center

The community center originally opened in June 1978 as a project of Cypress Creek Christian Church. The Forum was the first facility to open, and The Centrum opened in 1997, according to the CCCCC website. The Cypress Creek Cultural District that has sprung up since CCCCC originally opened includes the Barbara Bush Branch Library, which reopened in May after closing for flood damage, and the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, which is still undergoing repairs.

The community center, while created by the church, was built with the intent of being a gathering place for the community, Lowrey said.

“[We wanted to] make sure that we put our spaces back to serve not only the church and its many functions but to serve the many functions of the community,” she said.

Upcoming events include an Oct. 6 partnership with Barbara Bush Friends of the Library to host Gulf Coast Reads author Attica Locke, and on Oct. 20 the center will partner with Northwest Houston Chamber of Commerce to host a flooding information forum at 6:30 p.m.

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Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of the paper in March 2017.
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