“Normally, I would welcome you to our campus but today I’m thanking you for not being here,” said Atascocita High School Principal Bill Daniels, speaking virtually to 110 Lake Houston business and community leaders viewing the Atascocita Virtual BizCom June 11.

Lake Houston Chamber BizComs traditionally have been held at each of Humble ISD’s five high schools.

“I’ve been through three hurricanes, but this pandemic is different,” Daniels continued as he described his experiences tutoring his high school granddaughter in chemistry.

Despite the difference, Daniels said, “ … our mission doesn’t change. Our teachers have done a yeoman’s work in preparing and teaching our students.”

Something positive can come out of the pandemic, explained Daniels because, in “normal” times, there would be at least 4,000 students on the Atascocita campus. With the campus empty, however, construction of a third gym and 20 new classrooms is ahead of schedule.

Also optimistic was Humble ISD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen. The district has 14 ambitious projects currently underway, funded by the $575 million bond issue approved by voters in 2018.

“Construction is full speed ahead and we’re coming in under budget,” Fagen said optimistically.

Fagen called the final quarter of the 2020 school year “interesting” because the district teachers and students switched to online teaching overnight.

“I’m feeling positive about this transition because our students stayed online through the remaining of the school year,” she said.

“We contacted every student. Got 3,500 laptops into their hands.”

The rules in teaching are changing daily, Fagen noted, and the fall semester is uncertain. The district currently has two options for a July senior graduation, either at NRG Stadium or at Turner Stadium in Humble, weather permitting. The most current graduation plans will be available on the district website at humbleisd.net.

“Having your Zen moment” is how Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia described the new Atascocita Park located next to Rosewood Funeral Home on West Lake Houston Parkway.

The 20-acre project includes a dog park, playgrounds, walking trails, a natural pond and picnic pavilion.

The Lake Houston Family YMCA is progressively reopening the facility so members can once again have their “Y” moment, according to Executive Director Chris Butsch. The phase 3 reopening includes the reopening of the wellness center.

“In the past, we’ve spaced our workout equipment just inches apart in order to get as much equipment in as possible but, in order to create a safe environment, we’ve spaced the equipment 6 feet apart and eliminated some machines,” he said.

Participating in “Y” programs now includes registering online for the limited number of spaces available.

All members and staff will have their temperature checked and cleaning protocols have been increased.

“We will be stronger in the end,” Butsch said.

Small businesses in Lake Houston who are facing “ … unprecedented and steep challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic …” are encouraged to contact the Small Business Development Center at Lone Star College-Kingwood.

“We have the resources to help you,” said Migdalia Gomez, small business adviser.

“Our goal is to help you reflect, regroup and succeed.

“A business plan is a necessity for a small business. We can help you with that, at no charge. It’s important to communicate with the public, too, that you’re open and what your business is,” Gomez said.

Topics covered by the Small Business Development Center, according to Gomez, include surviving COVID-19, COVID-19 financial grants, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and information about the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Learn more about the center and its programs at sbdc.uh.edu/sbdc/Lone_Star_College_SBDC.

View the complete Humble Virtual BizCom on the Lake Houston Chamber’s YouTube channel.

Check the Lake Houston Chamber’s website for information on future virtual meetings.

The next BizCom is the Summer Creek BizCom Thursday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m.

Visit lakehouston.org for more information.

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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