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Tomball is a city in Harris County in the U.S. state of Texas, a part of the Houston metropolitan area. In 1907, the community of Peck was renamed Tomball for local congressman Thomas Henry Ball, who had a major role in the development of the Port of Houston.
While the boom of the railroad lasted less than a decade, the oil and gas industry began to leave its mark on the area. Oil probe instruments often indicated that oil was just underneath Tomball, especially after the Spindletop gusher in Beaumont. Although early exploration came up dry, the town remained a frenzy of activity for those who dreamed of oil. Undaunted by the challenges, the persevering spirit of Tomball’s citizens proved rewarding when a drill hit a 100-foot (30 m) gusher of oil on May 27, 1933. Tomball, which people began to call “a floating island of oil”, was immediately flooded with over two dozen oil companies, which drew thousands of workers and boosted the economy like never before. One major player, the Humble Oil Company, struck a deal with the town through which they would provide gas free of charge to the residents in exchange for rights to drill on the land. This agreement lasted until 1988, when the reservoirs began to be depleted.
Tomball incorporated in 1933. Because of the 1933 incorporation, Houston did not incorporate Tomball’s territory into its city limits.
Tomball continued to grow over the years and hit its second major boom after World War II. People began to desire a more comfortable life, so the entire area saw a shift of Texans migrating from the “big city” to the countryside. In Tomball, people could escape some of the disagreeable qualities of the city, like high taxes, traffic, and crime, but still enjoy the closeness of jobs, culture, and entertainment. In the 1970s, Tomball’s population again soared. The entire “Sun Belt” experienced a huge influx of residents who desired the affordable land and housing, nice weather, low taxes, and abundant job opportunities. Over the next 20 years, Tomball’s population would increase from 16,000 people in the school district area to over 85,000 residents. Today, the population within the city limits is up to 10,753, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Over 80 percent of all homes in the area were built since 1970.
The North Harris County Regional Water Authority form by State legislation as a taxing entity, which is located in Voting District No. 2. The Texas House of Representatives bill that created the water authority, HB 2965, was signed into law on June 18, 1999. On January 15, 2000 voters voted to confirm the creation of the authority in a special election. It taxes the cities water customers, however it does not provide water services to Tomball, Tomball has its own water supply. Changed the part about the NHCRWA supplying Tomball water service, Derek Townsend, Tomball City Council Person Position 4, 12/4/18.
Over 1,000 autogyros in the world are used by authorities for military and law enforcement, but the first US police authorities to evaluate an autogyro are the Tomball police, on a $40,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, together with city funds, costing much less than a helicopter to buy ($75,000) and operate ($50/hour). Although it is able to land in 40-knot (74 km/h; 46 mph) crosswinds, a minor accident happened due to a wind gust.
Harris County Housing Authority (HCHA) operates The Retreat at Westlock, a public housing complex for seniors, in an unincorporated area away from the Tomball city limits, along Texas State Highway 249. and near Farm to Market Road 1960. It has 166,762 square feet (15,492.7 m2) of space, and has 140 units. Residents may be aged 65 or older. The complex began taking occupants in May 2017, and completion was scheduled by fall 2017. Prior to the development of the complex, residents of area subdivisions expressed opposition to the addition of low income housing in their areas. The HCHA set a ban on visitors under age 62 from being present at The Retreat at Westlock for periods longer than three days each, due to the opposition from the surrounding areas; it is, as of 2017, the only HCHA property with this rule.
David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, a general aviation airport, is located outside of the Tomball city limits in northwest Harris County. On June 27, 2007, the Texas State Legislature approved Tomball’s request to annex Hooks Airport even though the airport does not border the Tomball city limits. Since the airport is in the city of Houston’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, the city of Tomball had to get permission from Houston to annex the airport.
Primary and secondary schools
Pupils who live in Tomball attend schools in the Tomball Independent School District.
The district contains eight elementary schools (Tomball, Decker Prairie, Lakewood, Timber Creek, Creekside, Canyon Pointe, Willow Creek and Rosehill Elementary Schools). The schools also include a bilingual program. There are also five intermediate schools (Northpointe, Tomball, Creekside, Timbercreek, Oakcrest, Beckendorf-closed down in 2009), two junior high schools (Tomball and Willow Wood Junior High Schools), and two high schools (Tomball High School and Tomball Memorial High School) within Tomball ISD.
The Texas Education Agency released the 2017-18 accountability ratings for school districts across the state and Tomball ISD earned an overall “A” rating. Tomball ISD is only one of 153 school districts and charter schools receiving an overall A rating. TISD earned 94 of 100 possible points overall.
Concordia Lutheran High School (9-12) is a private school in Tomball.
St. Anne Catholic, established in 1984, originally held its classes at St. Anne Church; that year it had 16 Kindergarten students and 13 first grade students. It had had 380 students in 2015. That year Joseph Noonan became the principal.
Other private schools in the greater Tomball area include Rosehill Christian School (K-12), St. Anne Catholic School (PK-8), Salem Lutheran School, Cypress Christian School (K-12), and Great Oak School a Waldorf School (PK-8). Cypress Christian, established in 1978, originally held its classes at Cypress Bible Church. It now has over 650 students. In 2018, Dr. Jeffery Potts joined CCS as Head of School. Dr. Potts was on the news for creating a School Marshall Program, where he armed teachers with guns at his previous school.
Colleges and universities
Lone Star College (originally the North Harris Montgomery Community College District) serves the community. The territory in Tomball ISD joined the community college district in 1982. Tomball is served by Lone Star College – Tomball, a member of the Lone Star College System.
A branch of the Harris County Public Library, located in Tomball College, is a joint project between the college and HCPL.