Things you need to know about what's next for HISD's severely flood-damaged schools

By Leigh Frillici - Reporter

HOUSTON - When Harvey hit, it severely damaged several Houston Independent School District’s schools.

Some schools like Hilliard and Robertson are being repaired and students will go back to their schools when the repairs are done.

But HISD officials said there are four elementary schools: Kolter, Mitchell, Scarborough and Braeburn that have suffered catastrophic damage. So for those four schools, HISD’s school board will be looking at a $126 million proposal next week to knock them down and rebuild them. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Where is the money coming from?

HISD’s spokesperson, Tracy Clemons, said the money is from HISD funds. The agenda says 56 million is coming from the Reserve for Operations, a kind of rainy day fund. Some $70 million will come from the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone funds. Superintendent Richard Caranza said they are also working with FEMA, insurance and the state for funds.

How much does it cost to build a school?

The estimate is about $30 million a school, but some schools may cost less according to Tracy Clemons.

How long will it take?

If it passes, it appears that that students would be out of their schools for another whole school year.  

Why are they doing this?

Because Caranza said even if they repaired, these schools would more than likely flood again.  This way they can get the school as the proper elevation and put in better drainage.

Where will students go while their schools are being rebuilt?

Here’s our best answer from the superintendent himself.

“Some of those students will remain in their temporary schools,” Caranza said. “These are good sites for them. We know at least one of the schools will move to a site that will be closer to their own site.  We don't want to talk about that yet because we are working on the details.”

What’s next?

The HISD school board will consider the proposal at their next meeting Dec. 14.

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