Construction of a $40 million high school, the new H.M. King High School in Kingsville, began back in January and is still underway.
The project is such a massive undertaking that it is being divided into three phases. Phase 1 is expected to be completed by Dec. 31.
"The first, which is the educational portion, is being built right now," said Karen Griffith, Assistant Superintendent of the Kingsville Independent School District. "It's being constructed with the old high school in the back. That will be demolished, and then the gyms and the auditorium will be built in its place; and also the finishing of the second half of the fine arts center."
While construction is underway, students continue to go to class in the old H.M. King High School building, which was built in 1961. It's located right behind the new building.
"Very close proximity," said Joe Lindemann, Project Executive of Skanska USA Building. "That's offered up a challenge, but we've mitigated that risk. Separated students, staff and everything from the construction workers, and everything's going well. Have not had any incidents at all."
Approved by voters in 2010, the new high school will feature state of the art engineering and science labs that will utilize top of the line technology. The facilities are being built to create an academic environment that will focus on advancing student success.
"Each school is very unique within itself. This is probably one of the more unique ones just due to the structure. The technological aspects of it," Lindemann said. "Kingsville has a very high-tech school district. Very impressive. They're leaps and bounds ahead of a lot of other districts that I've worked in."
"This is a great opportunity. The new school, I mean," KISD Superintendent Edward Blaha said. "It's also a testament to the support from all of the people in the Kingsville Independent School District. It will stand as a great sign that education is in the forefront in this community."
With an average of 140 people working onsite each day, the project executive said construction is right on track, with the goal of moving the students in by January of 2014.
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