November Construction Update


Construction zone on November 14.

Kate Kueter and Natalie Green

With the bang of shovels and jackhammers, City enters into its fifth week of construction on its new $27-million addition. Students are beginning to see changes around the “jock lot” with the demolition of the tennis courts and the addition of a fence surrounding the construction zone.

“So far, they’ve torn out the tennis courts and the grassy area to the entrance of the building,” Principal John Bacon said.

Construction was planned to begin at the end of the 2018-19 school year, but the start date was forced back due to budgeting issues. The original design was five million dollars over the proposed budget of 25 million. Even with the late start of construction, the end date has not changed. The new addition is expected to open in the fall of 2021. 

“We were slow out of the gates on this because of the big delay over the summer,” Bacon said. “[The project] was overdesigned by a few million dollars.”

Construction has already faced setbacks. It was discovered that a sewer line had to be rerouted before the continuation of the destruction of the former parking lot area. 

“They are rerouting an existing sewer line to get it in the appropriate place for the new project, and that was the first step,” Bacon said. 

Throughout the year, students will be facing more interruption in their day-to-day school activities. Recently, the JV boys’ locker room was closed. More major impacts to students will occur next school year. 

 “One impact of [the construction] is that we’re losing that locker room for the foreseeable future,” Bacon said.

A major impact on students next year will be the addition of a central heating and air conditioning system. In order to add this feature, wings of City will need to be closed. One proposed solution to this problem is to move some classes to Hoover temporarily. 

“An example would be using Hoover possibly for an optional site to get some classes there. That way, the class time isn’t disrupted,” athletic director Phillip Hansen said. “It would be a little bit of a short walk but at the end of the day it’s a quiet setting; you’re not hearing the bang.” 

Biweekly meetings are held between City High representatives and the construction company to discuss the progress of the construction and the impact on students. The representatives for City High include Bacon,  Hansen, and assistant principal Scott Jesperson. 

“Much of the addition is athletics. You think of the new gym, you think of the new locker rooms, the wrestling room,” Hansen said. “I want to have a direct say in it.”  

As many of the new additions to the school will occur inside as well as outside, it is a priority for the administration to not disrupt City High’s academics during this construction process. 

“This isn’t a stand-alone addition. This edition is actually being connected to our current building,” Hansen said. “They’re trying to make sure that disruptions to class are as limited as possible.”