Winter progress at SCHS

Visible progress continues at the site of the new high school building for Sioux Center School District, north of the fairgrounds and east of the current high school.

SIOUX CENTER—As the weather swings from tolerable to inclement or windy, teams of workers continue to build at the site of the new Sioux Center High School on 13th Avenue Northeast, north of the Sioux County fairgrounds.

Nick Liston, the Carl A. Nelson & Company project manager, gave members of the Sioux Center School District Board of Eduction an update on the construction efforts during their board meeting Monday evening.

According to Liston, the main work for January consisted of finishing off the exterior shells for different sections of the school so it could be enclosed. That work involved mostly final structural steel framework and putting exterior precast panels into place, a difficult task in high winds.

A lot of work has gone on in the gym, which Liston put at about 50 percent complete.

He said the east and west walls of the gym are done while the south wall has some work left to do, such as installing precast panels.

“We enclosed the lower area of the gym and we poured those floors,” Liston said. “Currently, they are framing the walls and installing the masonry walls down below as well. You’re starting to define spaces down there now.”

As they enclose areas, it becomes easier to provide heating inside so that interior work can continue despite cold temperatures outside.

And some of the construction work depends on the working environment being above a certain temperature. The mason, according to Liston, needs the space to be above 40 degrees, for example.

“We’re able to do that pretty easily,” he said. “It’s working effectively so our guys can make some pretty good progress on those walls down there.”

Although the weather hasn’t been the kindest for the construction crews, it hasn’t been as bad as it could have and progress has continued well enough. As Liston said, they’re no strangers to having to work around uncooperative weather, and once a roof is in place, weather won’t be as much of an issue.

“We’ve made some good progress and the winter has been manageable. Sure, we’ve lost some days here and there, but all in all, it could have been worse,” Liston said. “It’s construction. We’re constantly modifying our schedules and come up with alternative plans. You have to. If we lose a day, we’re looking at how to make that up, whether it’s bringing on more guys or working extra days or longer days.”

Liston also outlined the goals in mind for the next four or five weeks, such as having the roof in place sometime in March. The excess dirt at the site, now piled on a mound, should likewise be removed that month, pending some final paperwork for another area project in need of that dirt.

Toward the end of the meeting, the school board approved 3-0 the sale of $4.4 million in general obligation bonds, to be purchased by four local banks.

The construction of the new high school building is estimated to cost $42.5 million.