Case Studies

Plainview High School: Renovations for a Technology-driven Future

  • Written by: Plainview High School: Renovations for a Technology-driven Future
  • Produced by: Plainview High School: Renovations for a Technology-driven Future
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Students today are learning in a fast-paced, technology-driven world. Therefore, school districts need to stay abreast of the latest advancements in order to provide the best education for the future. Plainview Independent School District officials in Plainview, Texas, realize the urgency, and voted in 2010 to renovate Plainview High School to meet modern-day standards.

The project, valued at just under $11 million, started in September 2011 and is anticipated to be finished by August 2013. Plainview High School officials called on Southwest General Contractors (SWGC) to manage the project, and the company has committed to completing the project at the guaranteed maximum price of just under $11 million. SWGC’s renovations will address many problems the school has faced, including providing adequate space for students. The school will be given a new façade, library, science labs, computer labs, offices, student restrooms and classrooms.

A smoother transition between classrooms is a major goal of SWGC on this project. As the high school population has grown over the years, the district has added spaces to accommodate students. The piecemeal addition work has created a maze between hallways, stairwells and classrooms, which is difficult to monitor. Officials shared concerns about school security and the general safety of some of the aging mechanisms like heating, air conditioning and plumbing in the school. Additionally, the design of the building proved difficult when trying to incorporate technology in the classrooms.

When breaking ground on the high school, officials declared the renovation work to be a step toward bettering the future for children in the school district. This is a commitment in line with the district’s goals to create a safe learning environment with adequate technology for students to gain an education and to be successful in their future endeavors.

Challenges in the Classroom

SWGC is an Amarillo, Texas-based company with experience in large commercial construction for both public and private sectors across Texas and the southwest United States. The company has previously handled other school renovations in Texas, as well.

The company has a competent team of executives to handle various contracts. Under the leadership of Gary Purser and Wes Purser, owners, Steve Duncan, project manager for SWGC, is overseeing the Plainview High School project. With a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Duncan has over 35 years experience in the construction industry. He has previously worked on school projects, as well as law enforcement centers, medical facilities and apartment complexes.

Randy Campbell, Mark White and Mike Ledbetter, superintendents for the project, boast many years of combined experience working on similar school projects. Lenora Clardy, AIA, is the lead architect for the project representing Chapman Harvey Architects, which is based in Lubbock, Texas.

With experienced workers, SWGC is self-performing many aspects of the job, including rough carpentry, millwork installation, finish work and demolition. For other scopes of work, a trustworthy network of subcontractors is called upon. With years of experience working in Texas, Duncan notes that SWGC has developed a substantial network of subcontractors to choose from with more being added to this at all times.

Even with experience in school renovation projects, Duncan says working in such an environment can prove tricky, and he reports that keeping on schedule and on budget is a challenge when having to work around the school’s schedule. In addition to timing aspects of the project with the academic calendar, Duncan notes SWGC has tried to coordinate work so the team isn’t outside in colder months.

The majority of the two-year project is being done while students attend class. Duncan says SWGC has to take extra care to ensure the work site is safe and secure from areas where students are traveling between classes. Debris and dust from demolition work also has to remain contained, ensuring the air quality of rooms still in use isn’t compromised.

Extreme Measures Lead to Extraordinary Results

SWGC is completing the renovation work in phases. The first phase was completed in summer 2012, and included the construction of a new two-story wing. The wing boasts new administrative offices on the first floor, and a new student library and a professional library on the second floor.

The second phase, scheduled for completion in spring 2013, included demolishing the existing library, which was located over an existing basement that was to remain in place. Once the library was down, contractors replaced it with a new two-story wing containing new classrooms, science labs and additional administrative offices.

The final phase will include demolition of the interior walls and all finish out items of existing classrooms and administrative offices, with construction of new classrooms and computer labs on two floors. Once complete, which is slated for summer 2013, the renovations to Plainview High School will help execute the district’s mission to graduate students who have the skill to compete successfully in today’s world through a coordinated program of instruction in a safe, disciplined environment. Thanks to the team at Southwest General Contractors, Plainview High School students will have a newly renovated school to attend by the 2013-2014 school year.

Published on: March 28, 2013

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