Development Watchlist: New Caney ISD Prepping Land for High School #3 in Kingwood

New Caney ISD is planning to build a new comprehensive high school on a roughly 50-acre site between US59 and Sorters-McClellan Road, where a par-3 golf course used to be. The land is south of HCA Kingwood Medical Center and behind several car dealerships that face US59.

At the moment, this is the largest active development in the Kingwood area. Luckily for residents downstream, plans call for a large retention pond on the site

New Caney ISD High School #3, still unnamed, will be built where the par 3 golf course used to be in the center of the image above.

Photos of Site and Layout

The site for this high school is roughly 5-acres larger than Kingwood High School’s site. Clearing and grading of the land has already started. See pictures below.

Looking NE. Land for Future New Caney ISD High School #3
Looking East.
Looking South. Detention pond will go at the far end of this part of the site.

Importance of Detention Pond

A Bid Bulletin described the total project as a 337,000 square-foot, 3-story building with tilt-wall construction and a detention pond.

A building that large, with parking lots, and rubber grass on its playing fields would make make detention ponds critical.

Site Plan for New Caney HS #3 shows detention pond on south side of property (right) and taking up approximately 10% of the property. For a higher resolution PDF, click here.

Plans show that the retention pond will be located along the southern border of the property. The land naturally slopes to there.

Although width and length are not noted on this drawing, it appears to take up about ten percent of the site and have a depth of 6.66 feet. If those are accurate assumptions, that would mean the pond provides 33.3 acre feet of detention for a 50 acre site.

That equals .666 acre feet of detention per acre. The City of Houston requires .5 feet per acre for sites of this size.

But a white paper by the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium points out that many factors can influence the amount of detention needed to offset development. Those factors include the amount of impervious cover, the soil type and more. They can change the rate needed for protection of downstream residents more than 10X. There is not one-size-fits-all.

Until we learn more about the specifics of this site and project, we can’t know whether this plan provides enough detention. But this certainly is an encouraging start.

Now that the site is cleared though, New Caney ISD should expedite construction of the detention pond. The peak of hurricane season is two months away. Elm Grove showed us what can happen between clearing and the installation of detention ponds.

More About the High School

Community Impact newspaper reported earlier this year that the high school will open in August, 2022. The project will be built in two phases.

Artists renderings of the campus show a sleek, modern, open, light-filled design.

Aerial image shows high school will be built around an open courtyard giving more classrooms access to more sunlight. Rendering from New Caney ISD.
Artists rendering of lobby of New Caney HS #3 from New Caney ISD.
Front Elevation of the new high school from New Caney ISD.

For those new to the area, two independent school districts serve the Kingwood area. The Humble ISD serves the vast majority of the area. The New Caney ISD serves the parts outside of Harris County on the north and west.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/17/2020

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