The stage for the opening of the new Sherman High School was set Monday night when the Sherman City Council approved a $645,000 contract with Lynn Vessels Construction for sewer improvements in south Sherman. The project, referred to as the Munson tract waste-water extension project, will see a new sewer line added to service the high school and proposed Village development which will be located near the high school site.

The line comes as the new high school is slated to open some time in August, just in time for the new school year. The prospect of a new high school has spurred interest in some developers, including Munson Realty, who proposed a nearly 600 acre, mixed-use planned development along FM 1417 in 2019.

They are currently slated to start in February and complete the project by July.

“This is a project we expected to cost $800,000 and it is only costing us $650,000 because he is already out there,” Sherman Community and Support Service Manager Nate Strauch said.

The winning by Lynn Vessels construction represented the low bid of 10 total bids for the project. The $645,000 bid was significantly lower than the next lowest bid, which was submitted by Excel Trenching for $772,000. By comparison, the high bid was submitted by Atkins Bros Equip Co. for $1.90 million— nearly three times the winning bid.

City council member Willie Steele asked if there were any concerns from city staff from the large disparity in bids, but City Manager Robbie Hefton said there are some contractors who traditionally have higher prices.

“Historically, I don’t know where they get their numbers from,” he said.

Hefton attributed some of the cost savings from the project to Vessels low mobilization costs for the project, with the second lowest cost to move machinery of the 10 bids. The range of costs for mobilization stretched from a $0 bid from Dickerson Construction to a $150,000 fee from Atkins Bros Equip Co.

Strauch said that Vessels was the firm selected to complete the first phase of the project and is currently active on the project. With equipment already active in the area, he said the firm has less of a need to relocate and move machinery onto the site.

“It is an interesting deal because it is a local company so the money from this stays local,” Strauch said.

The project will see nearly 7,200 linear feet of sewer line run from the Heritage Parkway to the high school site. This will expand on the first phase of the water line extension, stretching from Flanary Road north to Heritage.