Crossing Guard Charlethia Vaughn is nearly a permanent fixture at the corner of Walnut Bend Lane and Briar Forest Drive during the school year.
Every morning and afternoon, she is there to help Walnut Bend Elementary School students and their parents cross the busy street — even when the Texas heat is nearly unbearable, when the skies are pouring rain, or when it’s so cold, her fingers get numb.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” she said. “This community has really embraced me.”
When Hurricane Harvey hit, Facilities Services Security Maintenance Dispatcher Kenneth Johnson left behind his home and relocated to the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, where he could monitor and serve the district.
“It was kind of scary,” Johnson said, recalling images captured on security cameras when the storm hit. “Water was going up the hallways.”
As the flood waters rose, some HISD locations lost their security camera feeds, but Johnson kept calm and helped organize response logistics, which included determining where to send technicians for maintenance.
Thomas Middle School is getting a facelift this summer thanks to the help of the Houston Independent School District Facilities Services team.
The school is being updated to accommodate incoming middle school students from Woodson, which is transitioning this summer from a prekindergarten through eighth-grade campus to a prekindergarten through fifth-grade academy.
“I am excited for the students,” newly appointed Principal Vernitra Shivers said, noting that she was excited to see the dated campus get an update. “We will be growing in numbers over the summer, so this is needed.”
In the wake of historic flooding across the Houston area this week, the HISD community has rallied to help in a number of ways, including assisting with the bus evacuations of residents in the Greenspoint area and setting up two school-based shelters on a moment’s notice.
The HISD Board of Education will receive a report Thursday that updates the district’s long-term facilities plan and recommends several school construction and renovation projects that could be funded through a bond program.
Thursday’s meeting, scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th Street), is for discussion purposes. No action is expected to be taken on a possible bond election until July or August. The next possible date for a bond election is Nov. 6, 2012.
School construction and renovation work approved by Houston Independent School District voters in 2007 is nearing completion on budget. So far, HISD has opened 16 new or replacement schools under that bond program, 6 more new schools are under construction, and 2 more are in the planning stage. More than 100 HISD campuses have undergone renovations so far. Click here for more detailed information about the work completed under the 2007 bond program.
Thursday’s report will be presented by representatives from Parsons, an engineering, construction, technical, and management services firm hired by the district in March to update the comprehensive facilities assessment that was conducted in 2007.
The board workshop will be carried live on HISD’s website and on the HISD Channel, which can be found on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T Channel 99.