KINGWOOD, Texas – Lone Star College-Kingwood plans to start classes on Sept. 25, despite two-thirds of its buildings being rendered uninhabitable by flood waters from Hurricane Harvey.
“When you open up doors and you have fish coming out of your buildings, let alone raw sewage, that’s something,” Dr. Katherine Persson, the president of the college, said. “So out of the nine buildings, six of them have 90 percent of the contents on the first floor destroyed.”
There’s no time to wait for when these buildings will be back up and running. Persson said it could take more than a month to get all the sewage and water out of the buildings before they can start rebuilding.
A majority of the buildings that were damaged have been marked as biohazard, which means everything needs to be taken out and tossed out.
For example, all the library books are contaminated, so they need to be photographed for records and then thrown out.
Practice dummies from the Health Science building were carried out like victims in a mass-casualty event because they actually could be infected. Among the other buildings impacted were Classroom A, Classroom B, the Fitness and Training Center and the Performing Arts Center.
Only LSC-Kingwood’s Administration Building, the Student Conference Center and the Music Instructional Building were unscathed by Harvey. The college plans to move some classes to these facilities.
For a majority of the 13,000 students at the Kingwood and Atascocita Center, they will take classes exclusively online, or do hybrid courses (a combination of online and face-to-face education).
The Kindred Rehabilitation Center in Humble, First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood, Kingwood Music School, Atascocita United Methodist Church, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Farouk Systems will act as makeshift classrooms.
As far as repairs go, LSC-Kingwood estimates it could cost $10 million, covered mainly by insurance and the rest possibly by FEMA.
“There’s no use crying over spilled milk, these are the cards we’re dealt,” Persson said.