Posts

Humble ISD North Transportation Center Now Complete, New Ag Barn Getting There

Humble ISD’s North Transportation Center adjacent to Woodridge Village on Ford Road is now complete. And the District’s new Ag Barn should be completed by the start of next year.

North Transportation Center Now Fully Operational

As I drove by the transportation center on Ford Road in Porter today, I noticed a steady stream of buses exiting the facility to pick students up from schools. Contractors were still completing the interior buildout just a few months ago. I quickly put up a drone and captured the images below.

Humble ISD’s press office confirmed today that the project is now totally complete and operational.

The property, located at 24755 Ford Road, encompasses about 12 acres.  The new center will save an estimated $2 million in operating costs due to shorter routes and improved response times.

(Looking north) Note the bus exiting the facility toward Ford Road on left.
This large detention pond on the north side of the transportation center will reduce the risk of flooding caused by rapid runoff from all that concrete.
Looking south. The project was completed so recently, that silt fencing from the construction still has not been removed.

Ag Barn Construction Could Finish by Early Next Year

While I had the drone up, I also took several pics of Humble ISD’s new ag barn about a block south. Note the cell tower in the photo above. It’s the same one in the photo below.

According to an Humble ISD spokesman, the contractor has finished exterior construction and is now focusing on interior buildout.

Looking north toward Humble ISD’s new ag barn in Porter. Ford Road in upper left. Transportation center in upper right.
Looking south toward smaller, triangular detention pond next to Mills Branch Road (upper right) and North Kingwood Forest (also upper right).
Wider shot showing location of new ag barn, where Ford Road (right) turns into Mills Branch Road (top) across from entrance to North Kingwood Forest.

Mills Branch (the creek) originates in the woods in the upper left. Mills Branch then goes through Woodstream Forest and Royal Brook before joining White Oak Creek and Caney Creek.

New ag barn is right under the C in Montgomery County. From Harris County Flood Education Mapping Tool.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/21/2021

1484 Days since Hurricane Harvey

March Update on Humble ISD Ag Science, North Transportation Center Construction

When Humble ISD began clearing land for its new ag science and north transportation centers in Porter near Woodridge Village, flood-wary residents expressed concern. Woodridge Village had contributed to flooding Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest twice in 2019 and residents feared additional clearing of forests would add to their problems. However, the contractors successfully built detention ponds and installed drainage before any major storms hit. No one has flooded yet due to these projects. A flyover of both facilities on 3/3/2021 showed the state of construction progress on both sites.

Ag Science Center

Humble ISD broke ground for its new seven-acre northern ag science facility last November. The contractor quickly finished clearing the site and building a detention pond. Now, work has started on the underground portion of the project – utilities, plumbing and drainage. Aerial photos taken last week show large amounts of pipe stockpiled near Ford Road. Photos also show concrete forms being staked out for building foundations. Humble ISD says the target opening for the new ag science center is still 2021.

Photo looking west shows relationship between Humble ISD Ag Science Center (foreground), Ford Road, North Kingwood Forest (left) and Woodridge Village (background). Note pipe being stockpiled near road.
Looking NNW, you can see trenches for pipe and forms for concrete.

When complete, this site will replace the ag barn facility at Deer Ridge Park in Kingwood. It flooded multiple times. Each time, students had to move their animals to safety. And one of the barns sustained structural damage. The purpose of this site: to improve safety.

North Transportation Center

Meanwhile, a quarter mile away, the North Transportation Center is taking its final shape. This project started several months before the new ag science center.

Contractors have poured the most of the concrete for building pads and parking lots. A large retention pond has partially filled with standing water. Two buildings have gone up and roofs are being put on. But the contractors have not yet “dried in” the buildings. They still have to install windows and doors before interior finish-work can begin.

Looking NE at Humble ISD North Transportation Center Construction Progress as of 3/3/2021.
Looking south at same site. Note the ag science center in the background at the top of the frame. Ford Road on right.

Target opening for this facility is also the 2021 school year. Humble ISD says the new transportation center will save $2 million per year in operating costs due to shorter routes. Currently, one transportation center in Humble serves the entire district. The center should also improve response times.

Humble ISD financed both projects with its 2018 bond program.

Last week, Harris County purchased more than two thirds of Woodridge Village for a major flood reduction project. Work on that should start soon. With that and the completion of these Humble ISD projects, nearby residents should sleep easier.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/7/2020

1286 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 535 since Imelda

Humble ISD Clearing Site for New Ag Barn Far from West Fork Floodway

On November 6th, the Humble ISD (HISD) broke ground for its new 6.9-acre North Agricultural Science Center at the intersection of Ford Road and Mills Branch Road, opposite the entrance to North Kingwood Forest.

Artists Renderings of new HISD Agricultural Science Center between Porter and North Kingwood Forest. Courtesy of Humble ISD.

Replacement for Flooded Ag Barn Near Deer Ridge Park

The site lies less than a quarter mile south of the new Humble ISD north transportation center. And it’s within four miles of Kingwood and Kingwood Park High Schools.

The new ag center will replace the existing Kingwood Ag Barn located on Woodland Hills Drive at Deer Ridge Park. That facility flooded numerous times since it opened in 1995. The most extensive flooding happened during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Site of OLD ag barn location near Deer Ridge Park was in San Jacinto West Fork floodway (cross-hatched area). Source: FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer Viewer.

The new North Agricultural Science Center should eliminate worries of West Fork flooding due to its location on higher land. However, it is still near Mills Branch Creek which flooded Mills Branch Road during Imelda. See the flood map below.

Site of NEW ag barn where Mills Branch Road turns north into Ford Road in Porter. Yellow-green line is Harris/Montgomery County Line. The nearby floodway is for Mills Branch Creek.

Humble ISD received a FEMA grant of more than $8.8 million after the Kingwood Ag Barn flooded during Harvey.

“Hurricane Harvey flooded our current ag facility up to the rafters,” Dr. Elizabeth Fagen, Humble ISD superintendent, said. “Since that time, every time we see significant rain, our students are forced to evacuate a lot of animals to a separate ag facility.”

Aerial Photos

These photos show the new site being cleared on 11/19/2020. The first looks north toward the new HISD transportation center by the cell tower. That’s Ford Steel on the left and the northeast corner of Woodridge Village beyond that.

Site of new HISD Ag Science Center where Mills Branch Road (bottom left) turns into Ford Road (upper left) at county line.
Reverse shot looking south. Mills Branch Road on right with entrance to North Kingwood Forest in upper right. The triangular area opposite the entrance to NKF is a detention pond.

Dirt from the detention pond is apparently being used to build up the site slightly to elevate it above the Mills Branch floodplain.

Details of New Ag Science Center

The center measures 29,000 square feet. It will hold:

  • 70 pigs
  • 70 goats or lambs
  • 20 poultry and rabbit pens
  • 24 cattle.

The new center will also include a practice arena, teacher offices, restrooms, a designated turnout area, comprehensive security measures, and expanded parking.

Veterinary schools often make Ag or FFA experience in high school a condition of admissions.

Larkin Le Sueur, Career and Technical Education Director for Humble ISD, said, “This new facility will offer expanded space for students to interact with their animals and also expand FFA opportunities for our district.” 

The new center will cost $4.5 million to construct. HISD chose Stantec to design the project and DT Construction to build it. It will open in the 2021 school year.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/19/2020 with input from Humble ISD, Jeff Miller and Chris Bloch

1178 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 427 since Imelda

Humble ISD Constructing Transportation Facility Next to Woodridge Village

In 2018, voters approved an Humble ISD school bond that included a new northern transportation center. The 11.7-acre center is currently under construction at 24755 Ford Road, directly across the street from the new construction entrance for Woodridge Village. Concerned residents wonder whether the extra acreage could make flooding worse.

Source: Montgomery County Appraisal District

Humble ISD says the target opening date for the new transportation center is 2021. Having an additional transportation center will save an estimated $2 million in operating costs, they say, due to shorter routes and improved response times.

Transportation Centers Use Lots of Concrete

This video shows what the old bus center looks like. Lots of concrete! It is a giant parking lot. But the District does have two small detention ponds for the 29-acre site (see below).

Old Humble ISD transportation center at Will Clayton and Wilson. Note detention ponds and bottom and right of photo. Source: Google Earth.

Note that the old site is in Harris County and the new one is just across the county line in Montgomery County which has more lax regulations.

Residents Question Whether Site Will Add to Flooding

There is some good news, however. According to USGS, there were no wetlands on this site. Nor does FloodFactor.com for FEMA show that the Transportation Center is any danger of flooding, unlike its neighbor, Woodridge Village, to the west.

New Transportation Center property is by red pin. Woodridge Village is to left, across Ford Road. Source: FloodFactor.com.

Some residents have questioned whether the new transportation center will add to their flood woes. That’s unclear. It depends on whether the District puts detention ponds on the site.

Construction Photos As of 6/16/2020

Recent construction photos below suggest that they will, but the District has not yet responded to a request for a drainage analysis and site plan. See the status of construction below. All photos taken on 6/16/2020.

The cleared space on the right is the northeastern section of Woodridge Village. The one in the upper left by the cell tower is the new Humble ISD transportation center. Looking southeast toward Lake Houston in background.
Tighter shot of new transportation center shows clearing is complete. Area between cell tower and top corner looks like it could become a detention pond.
Even closer shot shows them laying stormwater sewers toward back corner.
Close shot of drain pipe. From the size, it looks as though they expect a lot of runoff.
It also looks like they are pouring a concrete bed for the pipe.

New Ag Barn Just Blocks Away

The District’s new ag barn will also be in the same vicinity, about two blocks south – right where Ford Road turns into Mills Branch Road. During the last bond election, shortly after Harvey, the District decided to relocate the ag barn from Deer Ridge Park for the safety of students and animals.

The District has just started clearing land for that project.

The high rate of development in this area makes it imperative that everyone adheres to drainage best practices to prevent flooding. As more information about these and other projects becomes available, I will post it.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/2/2020

1038 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 286 since Imelda