Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

July 27, 2011

Construction begins on new JISD school

JACKSONVILLE — Construction crews started moving in Wednesday morning at the site of the new East Side Elementary School.

“This is a good day to see that progress,” said JISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell on Wednesday. “The job trailer is out there and some of the heavy equipment. At the site for Joe Wright (Elementary School), the job trailer is supposed to arrive today.

“Over the next couple of days, people will start seeing some dirt work out there.”

Officials with Pogue Construction estimated it would take approximately two weeks to begin work at the sites after the Jacksonville Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $30.5 million at its July 18 meeting.

Wardell said officials estimate the construction of the two new campuses to be complete in time to begin the 2012-2013 school year.

“That is still an ambitious goal, but we plan to move in the first day of the 2012 school year,” he said.

The GMP for the two new schools comes in at $500,000 to $600,000 less than the district initially estimated, Wardell said. Pogue set a GMP of $14 million for East Side and  an additional $16.5 million for Joe Wright.

“It (the money saved) will sit there for a while. We need to see how we come in at the high school,” he said. “We actually added some things at the high school that we didn't commit to in the bond election.”

Wardell said two new life skills classrooms and a food sciences laboratory were added to the plans for JHS renovations. The money saved at East Side and Joe Wright could help fund those projects, if the money designated for the high school from the bond money will not cover the additions.

A full-size gym, not originally set to be paid for with bond money, may also be in the plans for Fred Douglass renovations.

“I want to go ahead and get a cost on a gym while we're doing construction,” he said.

Jeff Kirk of Pogue Construction told the JISD Board at the last meeting the company received more than 700 bids from more than 400 subcontractors for the projects. JISD and Pogue held a contractor fair in June for local companies to bid to work on the projects.

The approved GMP for Joe Wright is about $2.5 million more than for East Side, Kirk said.

“The biggest component in that difference is the site work,” he explained.

The new site for Joe Wright, on JISD-owned land on U.S. Highway 175, will have to be leveled and graded before the construction can begin, architect from Claycomb Associates Architects representatives explained to the Board at a previous meeting.

The money for the two new campuses is part of a $49.9 million school bond passed by Jacksonville voters in November 2010.

Of that money, approximately 66 percent is funding the two new campuses. About 24 percent will pay for renovations and additions at Jacksonville High School and the remaining 9 percent will fund construction at Fred Douglass.

Construction at JHS will include eight new science labs, a new dining/kitchen area, hallways to connect the campus’s buildings and the conversion of the existing dining hall into a new band hall

Changes at Fred Douglass will include a new cafeteria, renovation of the existing cafeteria into classrooms and expansion of the existing library.

Ben Pogue, president and CEO of Pogue Construction, told the JISD Board at a previous meeting the company has 32 years of experience with approximate 99 percent of their working being with schools.

Districts the company has worked with in the past include McKinney ISD, Rockwell ISD, Allen ISD, Anna ISD, Aubrey ISD, Mesquite ISE, Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD, Bryan ISD, Prosper ISD, Southlake Carroll ISD, Lewisville ISD, Plano ISD and others. The company has also completed construction at Tyler Junior College, Texas A&M University and Northlake College.

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