Students arrived in good spirits to a school that many assumed would be under water for weeks, yet somehow ended up flood free. One savvy contractor just might be what saved it.
KATY MAGAZINE I October, 2017
Photo taken on the first day of school - post Harvey
Amid the Cinco Ranch curbside debris, destruction, and what looks like a war zone, one thing is still standing strong - Beck Junior High. And it's not just the campus that's standing strong, it's also the teachers and staff who are doing their best to work through all the campus logistics while "loving on" and supporting the students who have been through so much, according to Carra Daniels, Beck Junior High principal.
A large population of flood impacted students
According to Daniels, the majority of Beck's students have flooded homes, and she's seen the devastation first hand. Daniels spent time visiting neighborhoods around Beck, handing out masks and supplies, talking with families, hugging her students, or just offering help. Canyon Gate, Southpark, Summer Pointe, and others areas near Barker reservoir that feed into Creech and Beck Junior High have some of the most widespread flooding in Katy.
First days back
On the first day back to school, students arrived in every type of situation; some were early, some were late, some wore second hand clothes, and some had new clothes, but overall there was a sense of unity and camaraderie in their shared experiences; a defining moment that will bond the Bulldogs for years to come. The exact numbers of how many impacted students are at Beck Junior High is not yet known, but one thing is certain; Beck's students are coming back forever changed than when they last left the campus on August 24.
Overall damages were less than expected
Against what looked like impossible odds just two weeks ago, Beck junior high opened today to the dismay of many of us who saw the flooded images across our Facebook feeds. Surprisingly, after the school district's inspection last week, the news ended up being better than expected. Damages to the building ended up being minimal and included water intrusion from the roof, skylights and at a site located on the campus where a building addition is being constructed. But that was it. How did Beck not get totally flooded?
The miracle lip
Building inspectors credit a last minute 'lip' that was added to a possibly vulnerable entrance for saving Beck from flooding. A lip is basically a rubber seal with a stop threshold where the door is then blocked from water. Beck Junior High contractor, Jason Gustanson, a building superintendent with sterling structures, had been through many hurricanes and was working on the addition to the campus. As a precaution, he added the lip when the warnings started coming in about Hurricane Harvey. And that is said to be what saved Beck from what could've been disastrous flooding.
Photo: Carra Daniels, Principal with Beck Junior High hero Jason Gustanson.
The actual last minute lip added by a contractor at Beck.
Over the past several days, Beck's teachers, students, and parents, have worked tirelessly giving away lunches, filling donated backpacks, and taking much needed supplies to impacted families all over the barker reservoir areas. Despite being weary and hurting for the circumstances of her students, Carra Daniels was excited about getting back to Beck and exclaimed, "I AM GETTING MY KIDS BACK!"
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