HISD approves contract for construction of four Harvey-damaged schools

Inside Kolter Elementary School in Meyerland after water from Harvey had already receded.

HOUSTON – The Houston Independent School District on Thursday approved a construction contract for the rebuilding of four elementary schools that were damaged during Harvey.

The district has agreed to rebuild Braeburn, Scarborough, Kolter and Mitchell elementary schools.

Each of the schools was severely damaged in the storm.

“This is a step in the right direction for these school communities,” said Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby. “I’m excited to see work start to get the students back onto their home campuses that will be safer and even better-equipped to provide a 21st century learning experience.”

The cost to replace the schools is estimated at $126 million, which would come from a combination of the operations reserves and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) funds.

The district said the schools could be completed and open to students as early as 2020.

The board passed a resolution Thursday to pay hourly employees for work days missed as a result of inclement weather throughout the Houston area on Jan. 16 and 17.

The board voted to postpone voting on two agenda items related to being able to execute a reduction in force of teachers and other campus-based employees, as well as certain central office employees who hold term and continuing contracts.