New Caney High School #3 site clearing

Development Watch: Detention Pond for New Caney ISD High School Number 3 Finally Started

For the last few months, New Caney ISD has been clearing an approximately 60-acre site between Sorters-McClellan Road and US59 south of the Kingwood Medical Center. But only now have they started work on the detention pond. The site, formerly a par-3 golf course, will become home to the School District’s third high school.

Detention Pond Work Finally Underway

In the last few days, contractors have finally started excavating a planned detention pond at the southern end of the site. They appear to be using the dirt to build up the northern part of the site where the high school and playing fields will go. This two-part operation is a procedure called “cut and fill” in the industry.

Neighboring residents feared a repeat of Woodridge Village, as contractors clearcut the site without installing detention.

A storm, such as Imelda last year, could have accelerated sheet flow from the site and flooded them. However, so far, no major storms have hit the area this year. Everyone has lucked out to date.

However, clearing a site of this size and excavating the detention last increases risk. That increased risk argues for the City to adopt building code regulations that minimize the time between clearing and excavation of detention ponds.

It can be done. Some builders excavate ponds immediately and store the dirt in huge piles to redistribute after the rest of the site is cleared.

Pictures from 4 Corners of Site

Here are some pictures taken Friday, September 11. They show the operation in progress from the four corners of the site.

Looking west. South is to the left. The big pit being excavated in the middle of the picture will be the retention pond for the high school complex. Note the loaded truck heading off to the right (north).
Looking south from the northeastern corner of the site toward the San Jacinto River, Humble and Deerbook Mall in the background.
Looking SE from the NW corner of the site, you can see how dramatically this site slopes toward the upper right. That’s Sorters Road on the right.
From the SW corner of the site looking NE toward Insperity and the Kingwood Medical Center, you can see excavated dirt being hauled to the upper portions of the site to build it up. US59 cuts diagonally through the upper right of the frame.

Project Scope

To put the size of this site in perspective, the New Caney ISD high school #3 is approximately:

  • Twice as big as the HCA Kingwood Medical Center site
  • Three times larger than Insperity’s complex
  • Six times larger than the Lowes site across US59.

It will contain the school, athletic fields, parking lots and the detention pond.

General plan for New Caney High School #3

The area west of the site along Sorters Road will be expanded to accommodate traffic. Even though the site is in Montgomery County, it sits entirely within the City of Houston. The City has handled all permitting for the project.

The project should take about another two years to complete. New Caney ISD hopes to open the school in August of 2022.

The District’s 2018 Bond Fund will pay for the project so it should not affect taxes, according to a Houston Chronicle article.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/14/2020

1112 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 361 since Imelda