After more than 84 days of weather delays, the Sherman Independent School District is pushing back the opening of its new high school. The district now anticipates that the school will be ready for a mid-year opening in January of 2021.
In late 2019, district officials said that weather delays had tightened the construction project, but they still anticipated that it would be ready for classes by August 2020. However, a rainy January, which welcomed more than four inches of rainfall in Sherman, has made this impossible, officials said Monday.
“We are looking forward to opening our new school and this is only a brief delay,” SISD Superintendent David Hicks said in a news release. “The class of 2021 will be the first to graduate in our new, state of the art Sherman High School.
“From the beginning, we established an aggressive timeline, in order to relieve the overcrowding in our secondary schools and welcome students to a new school in the quickest way possible. However, building a three-story, 500,000 square-foot facility on a 100-acre site is a tremendous undertaking.”
Cadence McShane Senior Project Manager Lee Thomas said since the project started in August 2018, the site has seen just over 90 inches of rainfall. In total, the project has seen 200 days of inclement weather.
“We’ve always reported that we have a path to get completed by the August date,” Thomas said Monday during the district’s board meeting. “With the weather we have experienced just in the past month, our path has narrowed to the point … it is not good to plan for that Aug. 31 opening.”
Thomas continued his update on the progress at the site saying since his last update in October, the number of manpower hours on the project has more than doubled as crews of nearly 400 have worked to make up time lost due to Mother Nature.
“It is not easy, we’ve done a lot to overcome it,” Thomas said regarding the weather. “But it just seems to keep coming.”
Despite significant progress, Thomas said the school has still not need fully sealed in to the point where crews can continue work in spite on rain and weather.
“That part is very simple,” he said. “When we are dried in, we control our own destiny.”
Officials first started discussing the possible delay in November, with continued talks in December when colder and wetter weather began to occur.
Thomas said that crews had taken steps to work toward that completion date, including putting out more than 100 pads to allow cranes and heavy equipment to continue work in muddy conditions. Other plans were discussed, including ramping up manpower and hours at the site.
However, Thomas said there simply isn’t enough room on site to fit a larger crew, and there is only so much time that crews can work.