Dr. Katherine Persson, president of Lone Star College (LSC)-Kingwood, addressed members of the Humble Rotary Club at their noon meeting at the Humble Civic Center Wednesday, Jan. 24.
She said that in September, 98 percent of LSC-Kingwood's 1,200 full- and part-time employees displaced by Hurricane Harvey were serving 13,000 students. From Sept. 2-25, the faculty was taught how to work and teach classes online due to 3-4 feet of water and wastewater backup from the City of Houston in the majority of the buildings. The first floor of seven of nine buildings was destroyed, including all data communication and the library. Although the administration and performing arts buildings were not flooded, the performing arts center is unusable.
The first walk-through of all buildings took place Thursday, Aug. 30 and Saturday, Sept. 2 was “Good Day No. 1” or when the cleanup began. Since there are master service agreements in place, the college was able to proceed with repairs without utilizing a bidding process.
Among the changes that have taken place are 12-week courses instead of the usual 16, faculty acceptance of online teaching, and more paperless use by the faculty and for Persson, whose office is now a “ backpack.”
She said that funds from the 2014 bond will be used for a new health care facility and funded 12 classrooms for process technology in Atascocita with 800 students. The ribbon cutting for that facility is scheduled for March 6.
Persson said the college has been notified by the Department of Homeland Security that international students will not be allowed.
Persson thanked and credited college employees for going above and beyond. She finished her presentation by thanking area businesses and the Humble Rotary Club for their support and encouraged those present to provide input to public officials to prevent another aftermath like Hurricane Harvey.