Houston ISD has voted to tear down and rebuild four elementary schools that were severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
The decision was announced by the district late Thursday evening.
The four schools, Braeburn, Scarborough, Kolter, and Mitchell, was be rebuilt at their current locations and at a high elevation to prevent potential future flood damage, the district said.
The cost to replace the schools is estimated at $126 million, which will be funded by a combination of Operations reserves and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) funds.
“The damage to these four buildings was catastrophic,” said Superintendent Richard Carranza. “Our Chief Operating Officer and his team looked at them and believed it would be the most effective use of HISD resources to tear down and rebuild. We look forward to getting these students back into their home campuses that will be better-equipped to sustain major storms in the future.”
The plan requires the students and staff to remain in their current temporary locations until new facilities can be reconstructed. Those new facilities could be completed and open to students in 2020.
The district outlined plans to renovate other schools damaged by Harvey and financial contributions being made in a press release sent out Thursday evening. It includes the following details:
Three additional HISD schools — Robinson and Hilliard elementary schools and Liberty High School — were also relocated as a result of the damage sustained during Hurricane Harvey.
Renovations at the original Robinson Elementary are wrapping up this month, and students are expected to return to their home campus when they return from winter break on Jan. 8.
Renovations at Hilliard are ongoing. District officials opted to renovate both schools because of the age and sustainability of both buildings.
Liberty High School had been located in a facility leased but not owned by HISD. The school was temporarily relocated to Sharpstown International School. District administrators now are reviewing long-term relocation options for the campus.
Also during Thursday's meeting, the HISD Foundation announced a $4.7 million grant from Aramco Services Company for Harvey relief. The gift is designated for seven schools: Robinson, Scarborough, Hilliard, Braeburn, Kolter, and Mitchell elementary schools and Liberty High School.
Each school will receive a tech package worth $400,000 that includes laptops, iPads, and more.
As part of the grant, Aramco will also fund needs for each school up to $300,000. Those needs include, but are not limited to books, instructional supplies, tutoring services, and professional development for teachers.