The opening of a new community center in the Cypress Creek Cultural District has stalled since November 2019 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but after two years, construction is expected to resume in October, Harris County Precinct 4 officials said.
The facility, located at 6823 Cypresswood Drive in Spring, was slated to open in 2021, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, but has stood largely unchanged since Precinct 4 purchased it in 2018. Before Precinct 4 purchased the property, the buildings served as a gym and annex space for the Cypress Creek Christian Church and Community Center. While the Cypress Creek Christian Church and Community Center continues to operate today, the former gym and annex facilities have since been closed after flooding during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
However, the designers’ original vision for the project has not changed over the years, according to Joe Stinebaker, director of communications for Harris County Precinct 4. Once completed, the 24,500-square-foot space will be open to the precinct’s more than 1.2 million residents and will include space for local and civic groups to meet.
The project will be dubbed the George H.W. Bush Community Center and is now expected to open between October 2022 and January 2023.
“Pretty much everything is on target,” Stinebaker said. “Really, the only thing that changed has sort of been the timeline, primarily.”
Construction supply shortages during the pandemic have been a big factor in the delay, Stinebaker said, as well as new regulations from the county and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As reported previously by Community Impact Newspaper, in 2018 and 2019, Harris County Commissioners Court tightened regulations for building in flood-prone zones, requiring a minimum elevation of 24 inches above the 500-year flood plain.
“The engineering department determined that the building needed to be raised 6 inches after the design phase had already been completed,” Stinebaker said. “So we kind of had to go back, to some degree, to the drawing board.”
In spite of the delay, the project is still a priority for Precinct 4 officials, Stinebaker said.
“This community center, I think, will be pretty much the hub of the Cypress Creek Cultural District,” he said. “It’s going to serve the entire community, so it’s important. There’s no two ways about it.”