Crenshaw Announces $25 Million FEMA Grant For Humble ISD
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Dan Crenshaw announced that Humble Independent School District (ISD) is receiving a $25 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help protect Kingwood High School from future flooding.
“It’s been over two years since Hurricane Harvey tore through our community and left Kingwood High School students without classrooms,” Crenshaw said. “The school was closed for seven months, relocating sporting events and forcing students to commute to a neighboring school for the majority of the school year. While we cannot take back that experience, we can prevent future students from facing the same hardship. This grant will allow Humble ISD to make Kingwood High’s infrastructure more resilient to future weather-related disasters. Investing in infrastructure improvements, like Kingwood High, should be an example to other Houston communities that have also endured repetitive losses due to flooding.”
“Every time we have a major weather event, Kingwood High School students and staff worry that they might be disrupted and displaced from their high school once again,” Humble ISD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said. “Hurricane Harvey was a traumatic experience. This grant will enable Humble ISD to finalize flood mitigation plans that will dramatically reduce flooding risks to KHS, alleviate anxiety, and protect valuable community assets.”
In 2017, heavy rainfall from Hurricane Harvey flooded Kingwood High School with 5.5 feet of water. As a result, the school was closed for seven months. In the Spring of 2018, renovations were complete and the school reopened. It cost $63 million to restore Kingwood High School and the school's location makes it prone to flooding.
The grant money is a result of FEMA approving a flood mitigation application submitted by ISD. Over the past 18 months, district leaders have been working with FEMA to develop that plan. Architects presented a concept at the Humble ISD School Board meeting in November that involves the installation of flood gates that would float up, without electricity, at Kingwood High School entrances when heavy rainfall occurs. The flood gates would be underground and not visible at all other times. The concept also involves waterproofing exterior walls and installing new back-flow preventers. The concept has been used in the Texas Medical Center.
Humble ISD’s next steps will be to work with an engineer to refine the mitigation plan and to select the general contractor for this project. Kingwood High School staff and students may notice renovations occurring to the exterior of the school beginning next school year.
The construction project will cost $28 million, with Humble ISD providing about $3 million. The target completion date for the project is 2022.