AP NEWS

Lone Star College celebrates grand reopening of the Kingwood campus

February 15, 2019

Lone Star College-Kingwood faculty and staff are better than ever as they celebrate the official grand reopening of their newly renovated campus on Feb. 15.

The Kingwood campus sustained about $60 million in damage as Hurricane Harvey dumped water in six of their nine buildings. Most of their buildings had at least 3 feet of floodwaters.

LSC-Kingwood faculty and staff immediately got to work creating hybrid and online courses for their students while the campus was under reconstruction for 16 months.

The library is scheduled to open in April.

Lone Star College-Kingwood President Katherine Persson acknowledged every LSC-Kingwood faculty and staff members as well as local stakeholders who played a key role in restoring the Kingwood campus.

“While we remained open during the post-Harvey time, the progress you see today is really the culmination of a lot of hard work and planning on the part of many, and I refer to those are miracle workers,” Persson said.

Lone Star College Kingwood Chancellor Stephen Head said the journey of rebuilding LSC-Kingwood was a memorable one.

“I admire what we’ve done and Katherine has a done a great job in communicating and being the lead person over here,” Head said. … “The employees over here, I think all of us have a sense of what (they were) feeling which was really important. Lone Star College has been a great example of why we do what we do.”

While LSC-Kingwood was under reconstruction, many students either had to take online courses or they had to go to another LSC campus. This transition was hard for many students to adjust to, especially for Marquita Johnson a dental hygiene student.

Persson said the dental hygiene program was temporarily relocated to a facility on FM 1314. This program only allows 15 students a year.

Johnson lives in Galveston makes the trip to LSC-Kingwood almost everyday — sometimes with her 11-year-old daughter Honesty.

Johnson said she will never forget how Hurricane Harvey affected her.

The night before Harvey, Johnson and her daughter were at the LSC-Kingwood campus.

“I remember getting ready to drive back to Galveston, and that’s when I received the call that my daughter and I were not able to drive back to Galveston because the bridge was closed,” Johnson said.

Johnson and her daughter stayed with a former boss for a week until they went back to Galveston to check on her home. Johnson said she lost clothes, food and memories she will never be able to replace.

“In that moment may daughter and I both learned that when faced with challenges, never give up,” Johnson said.

Dedicated to staying on top of her studies, Johnson would get electricity from a local Kroger to charge her electronics and do her homework.

Johnson will graduate from LSC-Kingwood in May.

“There was a lot for me to take on and I knew I couldn’t give up because my daughter was watching every moment of this challenging situation,” Johnson said. “I have to say I’m so glad I didn’t give up.”

kaila.contreras@chron.com