Two years later: Schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey moving forward

Nearly three feet of water rippled through freshly painted hallways, carrying brightly colored classroom decorations that fell from wet walls. Bookshelves collapsed and spilled its contents, and desks were scattered about by the force of the water.    

It’s been two years since that scenario played out at four HISD elementary schools — Braeburn, Mitchell, Scarborough, and Kolter.  

Just as faculty and staff at each school had prepared for their newest group of students, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast. The storm inflicted damage so significant that students and staff had to be relocated to temporary campuses.  

Today, the original structures are no longer standing, and active construction sites have taken their place as the district rebuilds the once-damaged campuses. The HISD Board of Education voted in December 2017 to rebuild the schools after facilities assessments found significant property damage, as well as a strong need to raise the elevation of the buildings to prevent potential future flood damage.  

At Braeburn, installation of underground utilities and floor planks are complete and concrete slabs are being poured and steel structures erected.  

Scarborough’s building foundation and hollow core plank installation are complete and installation of first and second floor slabs are underway.  

At Mitchell, the concrete foundation and hollow core plank installation has is complete. Structural steel is being erected and site paving is nearly complete.  

The structural steel framing at Kolter is nearly complete with framing of exterior walls is set to begin next month.  

Once completed, the new campuses will feature modern, two-story buildings with open, bright learning spaces, large windows to let in natural light, a central common space, and extended learning alcoves in hallways for student collaboration throughout the building. 

All the schools are slated to open in summer 2020.