Humble ISD new ag barn construction as of 5/26/21.

Humble ISD New North Transportation Center and Ag Barn Shaping Up Nicely

North Transportation Center Status

Humble ISD’s new North Transportation Center appears to be “dried in,” as they in construction. That means the main building has walls, windows and a roof. Photos taken on 5/26/21 show construction equipment still in front of the building indicating they have moved to the “interior buildout” phase of construction.

Humble ISD’s new north transportation center is nearly 100% concrete except for the large detention pond on the far left, much of which is out of frame.

When complete, the property will store buses for a large portion of the District’s 14,000 students who use them.

The property at 24755 Ford Road encompasses about 12 acres.  The target opening date for the new transportation center: sometime in 2021. It certainly looks, at this point, as if the District will accomplish that goal.

Having an additional transportation center will save an estimated $2 million in operating costs due to shorter routes and improved response times, according to Humble ISD. It will also free up space at the district’s main transportation center to accommodate growth in the southern part of the District.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new North Transportation Center occurred just about 8 months ago on Friday, November 6, 2020. 

New Agricultural Science Center Status

About a quarter mile south on Ford Road from the Transportation Center, DT Construction has erected steel to frame out most of Humble ISD’s new ag barn facility. The old one at Deer Ridge Park in Kingwood flooded several times in recent years placing the animals at risk.

The center, measuring 29,000 square feet, will have the capacity to hold 70 pigs, and 70 goats or lamb. Additionally, there are 20 poultry and rabbit pens, along with room for 24 cattle. The new center will also include a practice arena, teacher offices, restrooms, a designated turnout area, comprehensive security measures, and expanded parking. Cost to build the new center totals $4.5 million.

Status of construction at Humble ISD’s new ag barn in Porter as of 5/26/2021.

Target completion date for this facility is also later this year. Although it doesn’t look quite as far along, keep in mind that some of these buildings will be open-air barns that require far less work than the transportation center facilities.

The new 6.9-acre facility sits on higher ground. Although it’s near the headwaters of Mills Branch (wooded area at top of photo above), only a tiny portion of it sits in the 500-year flood plain, according to construction plans. Mills Branch drains through Kingwood’s Royal Brook and joins White Oak Creek downstream. (See map below.)

Base map from Harris County Flood Education Mapping Tool. Red indicates location of new Ag Barn.

New Minimum Detention Pond Requirements

The ag facility, too, has a substantial detention pond. See the triangular area in the upper right portion of the photo above.

Google Earth shows the pond measures about .53 acres. Harris County Flood Control recommends a new minimum detention rate of .65 acre-feet per acre for properties smaller than 640 acres under new Atlas-14 rainfall rates.

That means this pond would have to be about 8.5 feet deep to comply. I haven’t surveyed it. But it appears to be that deep.

The pond for the transportation center measures about 1.7 acres out of a 12-acre site. Assuming that pond is also approximately 8 feet deep, that appears to offer more than enough detention capacity to comply with the .65 acre-feet per acre rule of thumb also.

The North Transportation Center is in Montgomery County and the Ag Science Center straddles the Harris/Montgomery County line. However, both lie within the City of Houston’s Extra Territorial Jurisdiction and the detention ponds would need to meet the City’s requirements which mirror Harris County’s.

It’s good to see the Humble ISD taking a responsible approach to floodwater detention. The Humble ISD 2018 school bond made both of these projects possible.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/31/2021

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