Tomball ISD to improve older campuses, transportation

After opening three new schools in August, Tomball ISD is focusing on renovations at three older campuses within the district—Decker Prairie Elementary School, Lakewood Elementary School and Tomball Junior High School.

Representatives from Houston-based VLK Architects gave a conceptual presentation during the Nov. 10 TISD school board workshop meeting to show designs for the phases 3 and 4 renovations, which will be carried out over the next year.

Todd Lien, VLK principal for the education sector, said the architecture firm has been partnering with members of the TISD board and administrators to identify improvements at existing campuses.

“We have worked closely with [Chief Financial Officer] Jim [Ross] and [Project Manager] Gary [Hutton] to define the scope of work,” Lien said. “In the first phases, we renovated the front of the [elementary schools] and created a secure vestibule. Phases 3 and 4 go into the rest of the work to renovate each one of those campuses.”

Lien said the scope of work for Decker Prairie and Lakewood elementary schools also includes mechanical upgrades. The concept designs for both schools also feature a new entryway as well as new carpeting, windows and doors.

Improving transportation

The presentation also included Phase 4 concept design plans, which will include upgrades to district parking facilities and the addition of a student drop-off area at Tomball Junior High.

According to the presentation, a school bus parking center will be built on Baker Drive across from the district’s existing transportation office. The lot will include space for 31 school buses and 31 cars as well as chain link fences and overhead lighting for safety.

In addition, the design for the drop-off area includes a new entrance at the south side of Tomball Junior High, 88 new parking spaces, a canopy and overhead lighting.

Lien said the new drop-off area will help to keep the surrounding streets clear while parents are waiting in cars to pick up their children.

“This will help to alleviate some congestion on Quinn Road by getting cars off of the street and bringing them onto the site to loop around,” Lien said. “We’ll also be adding a canopy for the kids to stand and provide shelter from the elements.”

Timeline for completion

Final construction plans are expected to be complete in January 2016, and construction of phases 3 and 4 are slated to be complete by August 2016 in time for the 2016-17 school year.

After completing plans for phases 3 and 4, Hutton said the district will turn its attention to planning for Phase 5. The next phase will include constructing an agriculture barn for district use and weight room additions to Tomball and Willow Wood junior high schools.

“Work toward phases 3 and 4 will begin immediately after we receive board approval,” Hutton said. “It will be done by the end of next year. We will come back with [plans for] Phase 5 after we know where we stand.”


Community Impact Newspaper uses data from the Montgomery County Public Health District for weekly case counts. (Community Impact Newspaper)
See Montgomery County's COVID-19 trends Nov. 17-23

Active cases increased from 1,828 to 2,513; recoveries grew from 10,012 to 10,655; and the death toll rose from 165 to 169.

Vince Santini was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott on July 23. The court was created to address Montgomery County's growing backlog of civil cases. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Montgomery County 457th District Court judge discusses new role, case backlog

When Vince Santini and his staff moved into the new building, they had to work off cardboard boxes and folding tables until furniture was purchased.

The eatery will open on Market Street next to Every-Bellies in Tomball. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Skeeter's Dogs and Desserts coming to Market Street in Tomball

The eatery will offer gourmet dogs and desserts in addition to other items such as panini and salads.

Shake Shack opened its new standalone location at The Woodlands Mall in November. (Courtesy Christine Han)
Shake Shack opens in The Woodlands Mall and more Houston-area updates

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

The Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Sugar Land Skeeters selected as Triple-A affiliate for Houston Astros

In joining the Houston Astros organization, the Sugar Land Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate.

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on-campus instruction if “a significant number of the instructional staff at the campus is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency authorizes schools to close doors for 14 days due to coronavirus-related staffing concerns

Campuses can now instate a hybrid or fully remote instruction model for up to 14 days if adequate instructional staffing is not possible due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases among employees.

TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries looks to federal designation for sustainability

During the transition, TOMAGWA must add mental health and translation services, more robust women’s and pediatrics programs, and a transportation program, Simmons said, which could mean using private vehicles or ride-hailing services to get patients to their appointments.

'We have a lot of folks that have never needed assistance before': Pandemic amplifies food insecurity in Tomball, Magnolia

Shirley Jensen, executive director of the Magnolia-based nonprofit Society of Samaritans, said the risk of food insecurity can increase as people deal with financial pressures caused by layoffs, shortened work hours and increased child care expenses, which is the reality for many residents during the pandemic.

Tomball United Methodist Church hosts the Trail of Lights, an outdoor walking trail decorated for the holidays in which participants can enjoy homemade cookies, hot chocolate and pictures with Santa. (Courtesy Tomball United Methodist Church)
Give thanks: 12 events to attend in Tomball, Magnolia this holiday season

Mark your calendar for these 12 events happening before Christmas in Tomball and Magnolia.

The section of Hwy. 249—from FM 1774 in Pinehurst to FM 1488 in Magnolia—opened in August. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Drivers to pay tolls on Hwy. 249 beginning Dec. 1

The section of Hwy. 249—from FM 1774 in Pinehurst to FM 1488 in Magnolia—opened in August.