Only four months into a 28 month project, the construction on campus poses minor issues with the normal flow of everyday school activity. Pathways have been closed off and parking limited to make way for the $25 million project.
“It’s always an inconvenience,” Principal Peter Martinez said. “Everybody gets upset because it’s not convenient, but in the long run it’s worth it.”
While walking on campus may be somewhat uncomfortable now, by the 2016 school year, the projected completion date, all should be back to normal.
“When it’s all finished, you are like, ‘I’m glad we did this,'” Principle Martinez said. “If you remodel you’re home, it’s inconvenient while you’re fixing it, but once it’s done you’re happy you got it done.”
Construction does bring up some heavy safety concerns for the administration and district. Sometimes sewers and fire sprinklers have to be shut off in order to connect pipes, which could be harmful if a fire were to occur at that time.
“I have to facilitate times that it’s good for them to do that,” Assistant Principal Ben Peterson said. “They have plans in place in the event that they break a fire line, or in the event that they break a sewer line or even a main domestic water line. They have plans in place of what they’d be able to do if any of that stuff were to be severed or disrupted.”
Planning for this operation dates all the way back to 2011 with the approval of the NEISD bond and appropriated funds for the construction. Guido Brothers Construction management, district officials, administrators, and teachers met to discuss and plan the project.
“Not everybody gets everything they want, but there’s a lot of talk in the planning of the unique things that they want for the campus,” Guido Bros. Construction Superintendent Steve Icke said.
The plan is to first finish the JROTC building, replacing the old building, which is also the last remaining part of the original campus. The building features two classrooms, an eight-lane rifle range, a new, bigger marching quadrangle, locker rooms for both males and females, and larger, more modern facilities.
An addition onto the athletic building will be put in place where the current JROTC building stands. Improvements include a concession stand, bathrooms near the football field, new coaching offices, and new football locker rooms.
The biggest part of the project, a new Science wing, will hold 14 classrooms, including eight Science Lecture-Labs and four Science Prep Rooms, and one Teacher Resource Center.
While working as an assistant principal at Roosevelt, Principal Martinez experienced a long period of heavy campus remodeling. He believes that the additions to the school will “expand our campus” and possibly allow the school to “have more students if we needed to.”
At the moment it may look as if not much is happening, but the extreme construction is coming.
“We probably have an average of 25 people out here now, and it will probably be as much as 100 people at some point in the project,” Icke said. “It could be up to 200 people at times. Before it’s over we’ll be working 24/7.”