Education News

Katy Elementary School Built In Reservoir’s Flood Pool — And School Officials Didn’t Know

The Houston Chronicle found county records showing the public school was built in the flood pool of Barker Reservoir

Katy ISD plans to spend at least $14 million to rebuild Creech Elementary. Its 800 students are going to class at a nearby satellite campus for the University of Houston.
Katy ISD plans to spend at least $14 million to rebuild Creech Elementary. Its 800 students are going to class at a nearby satellite campus for the University of Houston.

Half a dozen schools in Katy were built where it was known flooding would occur if Houston’s major dams were overwhelmed.

That’s come to light after the Houston Chronicle dug through property records.

Katy Superintendent Lance Hindt recently took News 88.7 and the Chronicle on a tour of one of those schools, Creech Elementary.

“As you can see, we had to completely gut it,” Hindt said, pointing to the interior of the building, a skeleton of metal beams.

Commercial dryers are still going before construction crews come. He said that it will cost at least $14 million to rebuild.

During Hurricane Harvey, the campus took on two feet of water. But it wasn’t just from the rain.

The Houston Chronicle found county records showing the public school was built in the flood pool of Barker Reservoir. That flood pool is the area most at risk if water builds up in the dam.

Did the Katy school district know that?

“It was brought to our attention by the Chronicle that our building may have been built in a floodplain,” Hindt said. “And as I told the Chronicle, we can’t confirm fact or fiction if we were aware at the time we built the building in 2000. It’s certainly something we’ll look at.”

To follow the paper trail of how Creech Elementary was built in an area in danger of becoming a swamp, read more in this report, a partnership between News 88.7 and the Houston Chroncle.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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