Three major construction projects are underway within Midlothian Independent School District, and all are proceeding on schedule, the MISD board of trustees was told recently.
Pogue Construction representatives Joel Martin and Joe Miller provided the board at last month’s meeting with an update of work on the J.R. Irvin Elementary School renovation; the W.G. Roesler Athletic Complex; and what will become Earl and Marthalu Dieterich Middle School.
The biggest concerns board members had were about the progress of Dieterich Middle School. Martin told the board that the laying of brick veneer is underway in the athletics, cafeteria and fine arts areas of the building. Framing is going up for the classroom areas, and walls are being installed in the northern section of the school.
“Fireproofing is the slowest portion of the work, and the messiest, but that is coming right along,” Martin said.
The lights for the school’s outdoor athletic facilities are already up, with work soon to begin on the football field, track and tennis courts.
“As far as schedule’s concerned, we are tracking on schedule,” Martin said. “We’re still looking to finish by June 29 next year, and that’s with us out of the way. That’s not just us closing the doors and hoping we’re ready.”
Board member Andrea Walton expressed concern about previous timelines sliding from April completion to May and then to June, but Martin said the work team at the middle school is working aggressively to finish on time and once the building is in the dry by January, then the finishes can start to go in.
“We’re working five, maybe 5 ½ days a week out there, we’re working 10 or 11 hours a day, and the production rate is huge,” Martin said. “If you compare it to what happened at Irvin, our production rate is probably 50 percent again greater.”
Board vice president Carl Smith asked Martin about whether a shortage of quality workers is affecting the work at the school. Martin said it’s a concern, but that Pogue Construction has adapted to today’s workforce market by using smaller crews in an organized manner to get the job done.
“We can get all the bodies you want, but that craftsman, that quality worker, is rare these days,” Martin said. “We have to be on that slab every day constantly, and our superintendent out there is very good at making sure when everything goes in, it goes in right.”
Irvin Elementary’s punch list is 95 percent complete, with the only items remaining a couple of doors that had to be reordered. Chain-link fencing which is addition to the original work but within the overall contract is being added; and over the Christmas break, some flooring will have to be replaced.
“Daily, we’re getting visitations by our HVAC contractor just to make sure the HVAC units are running properly,” Martin told the board. “So far the last few days, they’ve been OK. We’ve got a couple that have boards that have to be replaced, but we’re on top of those. They can run manually, so students and teachers are kept comfortable all day long.”
The athletic complex is being constructed in the south end of the current MHS turf fields and track. Martin said the veneer is almost done and the roof has been added, and glazing work was to begin this month.
“We’ve worked with the athletic directors and they’ll be moving their weights in at the end of October or the first of November,” he said.
A new concession stand is also progressing, and a retaining wall on the north end of the site is about 60 percent complete. Martin said all the work on that end of the field should be complete by the end of November.
Note: This article was updated to correct the location of the athletic complex.