There’s an overpass planned over W. Lake Houston Parkway at FM 1960, Atascocita High’s principal has a unique policy about how kids should be taught, and Precinct 2 is planning a family friendly Atascocita Park.
Those were highlights of the Lake Houston Chamber’s Atascocita BizCom held June 14 at Atascocita High School.
“There will be significant road improvements made along FM 1960,” Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Engineer Jeanne Javadi told the BizCom group. “Our goal is to improve safety along 1960.”
The project is divided into two segments and will stretch from Business FM 1960 just outside Humble’s city limits all the way to the McKay Bridge. The road will be improved in two segments and will include six lanes plus turn lanes, coordinated signals, sidewalks, raised medians, multiple detention ponds to provide good drainage, sound walls, and the overpass at W. Lake Houston Parkway.
The $101.5 million project is estimated to begin late spring or early summer of 2020 and will take about three years, according to TxDOT spokesperson Danny Perez.
“I know this is unsettling,” Javadi said, “but our goal at TxDOT is to make the entire process as painless as possible and you will be happy in the end because it will make travel along FM 1960 so much better.”
For more information about the FM 1960 project, visit txdot.gov and type in “FM 1960” in the project tracker.
In other BizCom topics, Bill Daniels, Atascocita High School’s principal, displayed a photo of the Atascocita High ladies softball team celebrating their UIL 6A championship title win.
“They weren’t celebrating their test scores,” Daniels said.
Daniels' point to the BizCom crowd was that students are more than just test scores.
“When I came to Atascocita six years ago, my philosophy was that I wanted every student involved in something, sports or fine arts,” he said. “Our academics are good and our choir, orchestra, sports teams are all award-winning. That means something.”
Daniels said he is making a change that will affect the school’s AP and dual-credit teachers.
“In the past, we’ve focused on our lower- and middle-level kids while we said that the upper-level students will take care of themselves,” he said. “That’s not correct. We do a good job with our lower and middle-of-the-road kids. I want to do the same for our upper-level kids and that’s why, next year, all AP and dual-credit teachers will be a part of their own department.”
By meeting and working together, Daniels expects the AP and dual-credit teachers to be able to focus on improving the school experience of the upper-level students as well.
In additional news, District 2 County Commissioner Jack Morman covered two major topics for BizCom attendees – the upcoming bond election and the creation of Atascocita Park.
Morman first encouraged all Harris County residents to participate in the special bond election, which will be held Aug. 25, the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey.
“This is probably the most important election that will be held in my lifetime,” Morman said. “It’s a $2.5 billion bond issue to develop flood protection for Harris County.”
Perhaps the only good thing to come out of Harvey, Morman said, was that it delayed the beginning of construction of Atascocita Park at Lake Houston and Will Clayton Parkways.
“We had time to go back to our community and get additional input,” the commissioner said. “Our residents said they wanted a dog park, for example. This will be a destination park. There’s nothing else like this in Atascocita.”
Besides the dog park, Atascocita Park will include a 2.5 acre pond with decks, an observation platform and a boardwalk. Morman says the park also will include plenty of parking, a nature play area including a nature labyrinth, group activity areas, and a trail throughout the park.
Construction on the 19-acre, $10 million park begins in late summer and will take a year to complete, Morman said.
The next Atascocita BizCom is Nov. 1. There is no cost but registration is required. To register for the Atascocita, Kingwood, Humble or Summer Creek BizComs, visit lakehouston.org.