Tag Archive for: Humble ISD

Celebrating Completion of new KMS Without Flooding

As I passed the beautiful new Kingwood Middle School (KMS) last weekend, it struck me. Despite many heavy rains during construction that lasted almost three years, neighbors never reported flooding.

Too often, I hear of construction projects that alter drainage and flood neighbors. But Humble ISD seemed to consider that problem from the start and took appropriate measures to prevent it. The District even built a temporary stormwater detention basin before tearing down the old KMS. It protected the neighborhood during demolition and construction before the new permanent basin was completed.

The result is a magnificent architectural gem – a showcase for the entire community – without drama, stress or destruction.

Pictures Taken 8/27/23

Main entrance of new KMS
The KMS building now occupies the space of the old athletic fields and the athletic fields occupy the space of the old building.
Kingwood Middle School (KMS) detention basin
Note grass on the sides of the stormwater retention basin.
The basin will reduce the risk of street flooding in the surrounding neighborhood.

The current drought has the football-field grass struggling. But somehow, the grass on the sides of the detention basin seems well established. The vegetation on the slopes reduces erosion which could clog the inflow/outflow pipes.

For Photographic History of Project

For photos showing the history of Kingwood Middle School demolition and re-construction, see below.

Thanks to the Humble ISD, its board and contractors for a job well done.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/1/23

2194 days since Hurricane Harvey

Demolition of Old Kingwood Middle School Beginning

Contractors have fenced off the old Kingwood Middle School and started demolishing the driveways and parking lots, including the area where the school’s new permanent detention pond will go. Meanwhile, the new Kingwood Middle School building is nearing completion behind the old one. Largely invisible from the ground behind construction fencing, the aerial photos below show the progress of construction.

Pictures Taken on 6/12/22

Main entrance to old Kingwood Middle School now fenced off and being torn up. Plans show permanent detention pond going here.

One significant difference between the old facility and the new one: a detention pond that should help reduce the risk of local flooding in an era of higher, post-Harvey Atlas-14 rainfall probabilities.

Side parking lot and temporary detention pond in foreground. Old and new buildings in background. Looking NW.
New vs. old: Three stories compared to one.
Looking SW at entire complex. Athletic fields will replace the old building in background.
New building now completely dried in. Contractors focusing on finishing the interior work.
Old building in foreground will soon be demolished leaving a vast expanse of green in front of this gorgeous community showcase.

Out with Old, In With New

All along, the plan has been to tear down the old school when the new one is ready for students. Athletic facilities, formerly behind the old building will move in front of the new building.

It’s a delicate ballet. Dozens of cars were parked along Cedar Knolls today as workers scramble to get the facility ready for the next school year.

Humble ISD’s web page for this project contains artists renderings that will help you visualize the result. Humble ISD did not return phone calls today to discuss more details about the construction, old-building demolition and a completion date. But I will keep you posted as I get more information.

To see the progress of construction, visit these pages on ReduceFlooding.com.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/13/22

1750 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Construction Update: KMS and West Fork High School

I last updated Humble ISD’s Kingwood Middle School (KMS) and New Caney ISD’s West Fork High School construction projects in mid-March. Since then, KMS contractors have continued work to finish the exteriors while beginning interior work.

Humble ISD has not updated its web page on KMS construction details, but some changes are visible from the exterior.

South side of building now almost all “glassed in.”

Ditto for north side. Roof is substantially complete, though some work remains on AC units.
West side looking east from over Woodland Hills Drive.
SW side looking NE. Most of the heavy equipment is gone.
Looking NW from SE side. Old building in foreground will be demolished to make way for athletic fields.
Easternmost building still has the longest way to go.

Humble ISD still indicates the school will open in 2022.

Compare Current with Previous Pics

See the progress of work to date by comparing these pictures with those taken in previous months.

West Fork High School

New Caney ISD posted this April update on work to date for its new West Fork High School. The high school is south of the HCA Kingwood Medical Center between Sorters McClellan Road and US59.

“Overall completion of the buildings and site work is 78 percent complete. The main building and athletic support facilities are dried in with portions of the main building being air conditioned. All interior partitions are complete with finishes such as painting and ceramic tile in progress. The electrical, plumbing, and HVAC rough-in work is 85 percent complete. The ceiling grid is being installed, allowing the installation of light fixtures, A/C grills, life/safety devices, data, and sound systems to progress. The artificial turf for the football field is 80 percent complete with turf at the baseball and softball fields to follow. The general contractor is distributing topsoil in preparation to begin irrigation and landscaping.”

Here’s what all of that looks like.

Looking SE across front of campus. Sorters McClellan Road is on right. West Fork is in background out of sight.
Looking NE from over Sorters-McClellan Road.
Field house and football field.
It’s starting to feel like fall and it’s not even summer yet. Looking north. Campus is out of frame on left. 59 is out of frame on right.
Looking NW across front of field house toward high school and Sorters-McClellan Road.
Looking N toward northern entrance off Kingwood Place Drive.

Compare with Previous Updates

To see how the project has progressed, compare these previous posts.

New Caney ISD expects to complete the project this summer. It is one of the District’s 2018 bond projects.

Impact on Flooding

Neither of these projects has yet had an impact on local flooding.

KMS built a temporary retention pond. When the old school is torn down, it will be replaced with a larger permanent pond.

West Fork High School already has a permanent pond. It was the first thing to be completed. Grass has been growing in it since March of 2021. This has reduced the threat of sedimentation during construction. I wish all construction projects followed this model.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/4/2022

1709 Days since Hurricane Harvey

December Update: Kingwood Middle School Being “Glassed In”

The new Kingwood Middle School is now being “glassed in,” at least the portions that are not brick. The glass will seal the interior from the weather outside and let new sets of contractors begin their work. Those include interior trades such as electricians, plumbers, painters, drywall, flooring and ceiling specialists. Since my last update on November 10, the contractors have made much progress. According to Humble ISD, the new school should open next August.

Once contractors have sealed the structure, the schedule no longer depends on weather and they can move much more quickly.

Multiple trades can work simultaneously in different parts of the building.

Progress in Photos

Here are pictures taken on 12/5/2021 that show the current status.

Approximately half of the exterior that will receive glass is already glassed in.
One of the entries. Exterior on right has not yet begun.
New Kingwood Middle School from over Woodland Hills Drive. The old school, right, will be torn down after this school year finishes.
Brickwork and roofing on the western portion of the building are almost complete. Some scaffolding remains for stonemasons on the opposite side of the building.
Construction moved from west to east. The eastern portions of the exteriors and roofing (right) are less finished.
Looking north to south. Once the old school is demolished (top of frame), athletic fields will be re-established in that area along with a permanent detention pond.
Looking SE at new Kingwood Middle School construction
The southeastern portion of the new Kingwood Middle School on Cedar Knolls still has a long way to go.

To compare previous monthly updates, search for “Kingwood Middle School”.

It was only a year ago that this site was nothing more than dirt and a dream.

To see architectural renderings of the new building when complete, see this page on Humble ISD’s web site.

Posted by Bob Rehak on December 5, 2021

1559 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Despite Heavy Rains, KMS Reconstruction Progressing Nicely

Since my last update, Kingwood Middle School (KMS) reconstruction has progressed nicely despite heavy rains and a tropical storm in the last month. My rain gage, a few blocks away recorded more than 11 inches of rain in the last 30 days – almost triple the average for September.

My last update on August 20 showed that contractors had erected most of the structural steel, but large parts of superstructure were still open. Today, almost the entire roof is on and most of the structure has been walled or glassed in.

It was barely 10 months ago, that this site was nothing but dirt, a dream, and a detention pond.

Photos Showing Status of KMS Reconstruction as of 10/3/21

Here are pictures of KMS reconstruction taken this afternoon with a drone.

KMS reconstruction as of 10.3.21. Looking SE from over Woodland Hills Blvd.
Looking N across roof of old KMS. Woodland Hills Blvd on left. Note how left (western) part of building is already bricked in. When new KMS is complete, the old one will be torn down.

Plans call for reconstructing the athletic fields on the site of the old school and building a permanent, larger detention pond where the circular drive in the foreground is.

It’s hard to tell from this angle, but temporary detention pond had barely emptied from yesterday’s deluge.
Only one small section in lower left remains without roof.
The new KMS will go up instead of out to create the needed capacity for students
As construction moves in phases from NW to SE, you see different degrees of finish.

Humble ISD still expects the school to open for the 2022 school year. For more information about the plans for the building, see the District’s web site. Find updates on other new construction from the 2018 bond here.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/3/2021

1496 Days since Hurricane Harvey

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

Education Going Higher; Construction Updates on Two New Schools

Two new schools in the Kingwood area are building up, not out. Hopefully, this trend will, in a small way, reduce the percentage of impervious cover and create room for detention ponds to capture stormwater runoff.

Earlier this week, I photographed Kingwood Middle School and West Fork High School construction. As of mid-August, the structural steel work for both is almost complete.

Kingwood Middle School Replacement

The site looks crowded now, but when the new three story facility is complete, athletic fields and a giant detention pond will replace the old facility.

Looking west toward Woodland Hills Drive. KMS Construction as of mid-August 2021
Looking east from over Woodland Hills
This view looking north makes it easy to compare the height of the old and new buildings.
The structural steel work has reached its eastern limit.

To see the progress, compare the pictures above to those in previous posts.

Humble ISD has set the target opening date of the new KMS for 2022.

New Caney ISD West Fork High School

Several weeks ago, New Caney ISD named its third high school the West Fork High School. It too will be a three story structure, and is going up between Sorters-McClellan Road and US59 south of Kingwood Drive.

Looking NNE over the new campus toward Kingwood Medical Center. Insperity, and Kingwood Drive. US59 in upper right.
Wider shot looking NNW toward the West Fork shows a large detention pond in the foreground is now grassed in. However, note sediment entering the pond through storm sewers that drain the site.
Looking SW toward Sorters-McClellan Road and West Fork. River is mostly hidden behind trees. For reference, note Costco in upper left.

Note the football field and track taking shape in the left middle of the frame and the field house still going up next to it.

To see the progress, compare the pictures in these posts:

New Caney ISD expects to complete construction by the summer of 2022.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/20/2021

1452 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Construction Update: Steel Going up for New Kingwood Middle School

In 2018, Humble ISD voters approved a $575 million bond referendum. One of the projects involves a complete rebuild of Kingwood Middle School with an open, airy feeling; much larger classrooms; and unlike the old school, a large detention pond. Three years later, it’s starting to look real. I took all photos below on March 21, 2021.

Framing of a new building with steel. This is when you can see plans on paper start to come to life for the first time. Looking west toward Woodland Hills Drive.
Looking north toward the middle part of the new site. Construction is moving in this direction. Those green boxes are where concrete piers will eventually support steel columns that, in turn, support the weight of the building.
At the southeast end of the site, a temporary detention pond holds runoff from the construction site. Eventually, contractors will replace it with a permanent detention pond farther to the west.
This Google Earth photo taken months ago, shows the new middle school going in where the playing fields used to be north of the existing school. When the new building is complete, it will be torn down and the playing fields will be relocated where the existing building is now.

The new middle school’s design incorporates the concept of Kingwood’s “Livable Forest,” using ample amounts of natural light to combine interior and exterior spaces into a cohesive learning environment. There will be more space for collaboration, integrated physical activity and movement. Classrooms will be about 200 square feet larger. Car and bus drop-off and pick-up have also been optimized to relieve traffic on the neighboring streets.

Computer rendering of new school.

Target opening: start of the 2022 school year. So we still have another year of construction. But I’m sure the result will be well worth any inconvenience.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/22/2021

1301 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