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Humble ISD finishing Phase I of $575 million voter-approved bond

December 17, 2018

Humble ISD is preparing to begin construction on its next wave of projects funded by the $575 million bond that was approved by voters in May.

The 2018 bond is a five-year construction program that will allow the district to build new schools, district building and improve athletic facilities. Humble ISD plans to finish all of their proposed projects by 2022.

On July 24, Humble ISD sold $125 million in bonds to fund Phase Iof their construction plan. Of this $17.5 million has been expended for projects to date.

With 2019 approaching, Humble ISD is getting ready to finish Phase I.

Safety, technology and turf improvements

Humble ISD Public Communications Director Jamie Mount said safety was the district’s first priority when using bond monies.

Factors that influence the timeline of projects is how imminently critical the need, the volume and complexity of the project, economies of scale that can be achieved by bundling similar projects, amount of bonds that can be issed at a time without increasing the school’s tax rate and minimizing interruptions to the campus environment.

During the summer and fall Humble ISD built more than 10 security vestibules at several campuses that did not have them in place. By the end of this school year, all Humble ISD schools will have a secure visitor entry.

Other ongoing bond projects included updates to technology, alarm systems, roofs and air conditioning systems.

Turf installation and renovations are in progress at the softball/baseball complex at Turner Stadium so that the facility will be ready for this season. Games begin in February. Having turf at Turner will prevent rainouts. If it rains and a school’s field becomes torn up, the game can be re-located to Turner.

The district has also completed field turf installations at the football practice facilities of its high schools.

“During the summer and in September, the district installed field turf at high schools. The field at Kingwood High School had to be replaced due to flooding and by bundling all the fields into one project, the district saved $500,000,” Mount said. “Turf maximizes field usage. Because turf is durable, even after it rains, the field can be used by group after group throughout the school day and after school.”

Ag Barn, transportation

The district bought 7 acres of land in November for the new Kingwood Ag Barn. The land is located on 24975 Ford Road.

“The current Kingwood Ag Barn is located on a site that experiences flooding. The 2018 bond construction plan includes rebuilding the ag barn on a new site,” Mount said. “The Kingwood High and Kingwood Park FFA sponsors visited newer ag barns in four districts in order to provide their input to the architect designing the new ag barn.”

On Dec. 11 the Humble ISD school board approved Stantec to design and construct the Kingwood Ag Barn and to renovate the South Ag Barn.

Mount said the Kingwood Ag Barn will open in 2020.

“The South Ag Barn, which serves Atascocita, Humble and Summer Creek High School, will be renovated to have features similar to the new Kingwood Ag Barn,” Mount said.

The North Transportation Center will also be located on Ford Road and encompasses 12 acres.

“Having a North Transportation Center will save about $2 million in operating costs due to shorter routes and improved response times,” Mount said.

Humble ISD Board of Trustees selected IBG Group to design and construct the transportation center. The target opening date is 2020.

“Humble ISD transports about 14,000 students daily. The district currently has one transportation center, at 1703 Wilson Road in Humble that all buses leave from and return to each day. As the district has grown, the number of buses needed to serve students has also grown,” Mount said.

Lakeland reconstruction

Humble ISD recently invited 11 architects to participate in a design competition for the tear down and reconstruction of Lakeland Elementary School. Lakeland was the district’s oldest campus at 58 years old.

Rebuilding the campus would be a $32 million to $35 million investment.

kaila.contreras@chron.com

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