Construction is often a juggling act. Nowhere is that more evident than Sundt’s second round of work at Las Cruces High in New Mexico, a $40 million K-12 construction project that impacts most every corner of the school’s campus.
Between May and July, we’re completing a remodel of the fine arts classrooms, ROTC facility, nursing area and fieldhouse. New construction on the cafeteria and auxiliary gym will also be finished. The secondary gym is being added to accommodate the many sports that share space in the primary facility.
A second stage, which will be completed next spring, includes a remodel of the main gym, existing science wing, music building and vocational building. Crews will be constructing outdoor basketball and tennis courts, a greenhouse, site utilities and site work/hardscape and taking down the old fieldhouse and arts building.
“Every building we’re working on will get flipped to another building,” said Project Director Joe Riccillo.
The second stage gets started this summer when fewer students and faculty are around.
“Everything is phased around spring break, summer and Christmas for delivery dates,” Joe said. “It doesn’t do much good to turn over a building in February. You have to wait until spring break for people to move in.”
Working on an occupied campus raises potential safety hazards that took time and thought to overcome. Joe credits Project Manager Brian Higgins and Project Superintendents Mike Dominguez and Henry Espalin with developing solutions.
“The most important thing is keeping kids safe while doing all this phased work,” Joe said. “We’ve created pathways for students to get to and from buildings and a signage system that shows them where to go.”
It’s our second project at the school, making the site familiar ground.
“Doing Phase 1 gives the school district the confidence that we can finish Phase 2 on or ahead of time,” Mike said.
Students were so happy with Phase 1 that they posted a video in late 2015 showing off their school spirit and new-look campus.
“There’s no greater reward than seeing the benefit of the project and what kind of pride the students take in their new building and their school,” Joe said. “It’s like having a virtual tour of the building.”