SHERMAN, Tex. -- Thousands of students will soon fill the hallways of Sherman schools, but with all the recent construction, will those schools be ready for them? School administrators say renovations should be finished by the start of the school year, and all buildings safe for class.
There are many finishing touches that need to be completed. Twelve of the fourteen Sherman campuses are getting makeovers, but administrators say while it seems like a daunting task now the buildings will be ready on August 25.
Thanks to the $77 million provided by the September 2005 bond election, students in Sherman have become used to the sounds of remodeling. But this year those sounds will be replaced with the sound of music in Sherman High School, thanks to newly expanded band and orchestra rooms.
Superintendent Dr. Al Hambrick says he is excited for everything to be ready.
"It’s a great feeling on our part, and we're just excited that we'll be able to add these new facilities for our students, our staff, and our community."
Some of the other things Hambrick is looking forward to are new security vestibules. Anyone other than students or staff will have to stop and see a receptionist before being allowed through locked doors into any SISD building.
Hambrick also says there will be a lot of extra space, giving the schools room to grow and allowing the district to get rid of all portable classrooms.
While these projects have been a lot of work, Hambrick says the end result will be worth the effort.
"This has been a tremendous task and we're not finished yet. But we feel like this is going to be a great facilities for our students and staff."
Construction project manager Chuck Edwards says it's has been a long journey with hiccups along the way, some due to weather and others due to budget in a tough economy. Edwards says skyrocketing fuel prices are not the only things that have affected construction. The price of steel has doubled since the projects began back in spring of 2006.
But Edwards says he and his team never cut anything out of the plans.
"We’ve done a lot of work to not impact the instructional environment, our classrooms, things of that sort. The only things we've looked at to cut costs have been the aesthetic looking parts of the building."
Edwards says crews are working from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., seven days a week, to make sure everything inside the buildings is ready. There may be some unfinished construction in out-lying areas, but that will all be done shortly after school begins.