Sherman took another step forward on construction of its new high school.

The Sherman Independent School District board of trustees approved the next phase of construction and the budget for the new high school on Monday. The board authorized the funds to begin the next phase of construction.

The total cost of the construction phases of the project will be $142,873, 893. The cost for the new high school, construction and fees, will be a total of $163,587,804.

An additional $12,600,736 was budgeted for technology upgrades with an additional $4,611,460 for HVAC and energy upgrades at the old high school.

The board approved the budget proposal by a unanimous vote of those present. Brad Morgan, Rob Wilson, Hillary Clark, Tim Millerick and Chanel Stiggers each voted yes to approve the budget. Juston Dobbs and Britton Brooks were not present at the meeting to cast their votes.

SISD Board President Tim Millerick said the cost was acceptable due to the facility being designed with state-of-the-art facilities in mind, as well as ensuring the district could accommodate the future growth.

“What we are looking at is some growth around instructional spaces in ways that we need to deliver the curriculum to be the best high school we can be in Sherman, Texas,” Millerick said. “What we need to impress upon people we’re being cutting edge, we’re being responsive to our staff, we’re adding in ways important and necessary along with growth.”

During the meeting, SISD Assistant Superintendent Tyson Bennett presented the total cost to the school board.

“After we met with teachers and staff, we designed it, we increased the space,” Bennett said. “The big difference is we added a fourth gym. We also wanted to make sure we were addressing growth. We have three gymnasiums at the current high school; We’ll have four at the new high school.”

With the increase in total cost, Bennett ensured the project would cost $273 per square foot or the same as the original estimate.

Phase Four is intended to run from February 2019 to August 2020 with an estimated total cost of $116,057,073. Phase One ran from August 2018 to November 2018 with a cost of $3,280,992 for earthwork. Phase Two includes utilities spanning November 2018 to February 2019 with a cost of $3,420,645. Phase Three includes finishing much of the earthwork, concrete, fencing and site utilities before Phase Four.

The fourth phase of the project includes the main building — including academic areas, cafeteria, fine arts, career and technical education and athletics. It will also include the courtyard, pavement markings, outdoor athletic fields, courts and concessions areas.

Sherman ISD’s construction manager at Risk Cadence McShane Construction submitted a Guaranteed Maximum Price Proposal for the remainder of the project.

The final GMP proposal includes completion of the main facility, athletics and paving. The proposed GMP is $116,057,073, for Phase Four with a total cost of all four phases of the construction coming to $142,873, 893.

The project began in November 2017, when Sherman ISD voters approved a bond election totalling $176 million to build the new high school. After the design phase and revisions to the project, the cost of the high school increased by slightly more than $5.7 million due to the addition of a fourth gym in order to prepare for future growth

“At the end of the day, we’re doing well with the funds we asked for,” Millerick said. “We’re doing what we need to do for the education needs of the district.”

The new high school is set to house up to 2,600 students in a campus greater than 450,000 square feet. Features included a reinforced portion to house students and staff in the event of inclement weather.

Plans also call for a new career, technology, science labs, all new fine arts facilities, larger spaces for band, choir, theater arts and orchestra students.

The athletic facilities will accommodate football, track and field, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis courts and an indoor multipurpose athletics training field.