Since the start of construction on the new Sherman High School in August 2018, crews have logged more than 37,000 labor hours, moved 98 acres worth of dirt, laid 100,000 feet of water, sewage and storm lines, and are nearly done installing more than 1,600 structural piers. Senior Project Manager Lee Thomas of Cadence McShane Construction and Sherman ISD Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Tyson Bennett gave an updated look at construction on the facility to the Sherman Independent School District’s board of trustees Monday.
The group focused on topics including earthwork, utilities, concrete work and weather on the $142.8 million project that is nearing its 11th month of construction.
“Things are moving along with our pouring of concrete, and we’re working to set up all the drive lines and visitor parking right now,” Bennett said Monday. “We’re making sure all the utilities are in place before we get to structural concrete. The plan is to get moving vertically just as soon as we can, over the next few weeks.”
The new high school will be situated at the northwest corner of West Travis and West Moore streets and is scheduled to open for classes in August 2020. The campus is set to encompass 450,000 square feet and feature 48 classrooms, as well as laboratories and other academic spaces, a large outdoor courtyard, and athletic fields and facilities.
Sherman voters approved the project in 2017, along with district-wide technology upgrades in a $176 million bond package.
While progress on the project was quantified in a number of ways for the board, the figure shared Monday night with perhaps the most impact was the nearly four feet of rain the site has seen since construction began. Thomas said, to date, the weather has affected 66 days of operations, but crews have deployed, pumps, cranes and pads to continue some work. Sherman ISD Superintendent David Hicks acknowledged the significance of the delays, but said the district would continue to work toward the scheduled opening.
“We’re early enough in the project where we’re taking a number of different steps to mitigate that impact,” Hicks said. “We’ll continue to work together with with Cadence to look at options and try to accelerate the project as much as we’re able….We’re full-steam ahead on August 2020.”
Over at the existing Sherman High School, space remains the biggest challenge.
“With 1784 students enrolled at the current Sherman High School, obviously its well over the facility’s capacity of 1,400 (students),” Bennett said. “We’re still dealing with those issues and that’s why we need the new high school as soon as we can get it.”
Sherman ISD administrators have previously said that the new high school’s capacity is designed to account for the district’s projected growth over the next 20 years.
Bennett said securing a solid site infrastructure will remain the immediate goal, but crews should begin upward building in earnest by late May and June and work on athletic areas will begin in July.
“We’re confident that once it gets to the summer, conditions will be drier for the project and that’s what we’re looking forward to,” Bennett said.
Drew Smith is reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org