Kingwood HS gets $25M FEMA grant to rebuild 2 years after being gutted in Hurricane Harvey

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HOUSTON – A high school that suffered some of the worst damage during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, has received a more than $25 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a press release from U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Humble Independent School District will receive the $25,401,611.75 grant to rebuild the structure that was originally built in 1978.

Kingwood High School was closed for seven months following the hurricane with Kingwood’s 2,782 students commuting 30 minutes away to Summer Creek during that time. Kingwood High School was reopened in March 2018.

Damage at Kingwood High School

The building remained flooded for 11 days during and after Harvey, FEMA officials wrote in the grant summary. Floodwaters were 5.5 feet deep in the front of the building and 1.5 feet deep in the back.

Damage to the structure included:

Mechanical roomFloors
MechanicalElectrical duct and air handling units
Chiller control plantChiller yard
Emergency generatorDoors
LockersKitchen equipment

“The applicant is utilizing the city of Houston’s current code regulations that require mitigation protection for critical infrastructure to be 3 feet above the 500-year flood elevation," officials wrote in the grant summary. “By designing the mitigation protection to current code, this will achieve the preferred FEMA loss avoidance on the facility and intends to dry flood-proof the exterior building perimeter to an elevation of 63.2 feet.”

Earlier this year, Humble ISD completed $63 million in renovations at Kingwood High School to completely rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. Following the renovations, the school suffered some floodwater damage in May after there was a quick, but intense storm.

The May flood allowed water into the school’s weight room, hallway and a classroom. At the time, district officials said they were looking at options to keep the school from flooding again.