Construction starting for new Cortez high school

The first concrete pours out Wednesday for the footings of the new Montezuma-Cortez High School. The crews are working on the north classroom wing of the facility. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

The first concrete pours out Wednesday for the footings of the new Montezuma-Cortez High School. The crews are working on the north classroom wing of the facility.

Construction of the new Montezuma-Cortez High School is in full swing as crews started pouring concrete foundations this week.

Nunn Construction division manager Rick Fleming informed school board members Tuesday, March 11, that a dozen subcontractors in the area have been hired on to help complete the $34 million project.

“We wanted local participation,” Fleming said. “These area subcontractors have been awarded about $8 million of the total project.”

Since golden shovels unearthed the 35-acre site at a groundbreaking in December, crews have been working steadily to excavate the site. Fleming said the first concrete was poured on Wednesday.

“It’s very exciting,” said architect spokesperson Jeff Fleming of Albuquerque-based Dekker/Perich/Sabatini. “We’re starting to put the actual building together.”

The new two-story 152,500-square-foot schoolhouse, located behind Wal-Mart on Sligo Street, is expected to open in the fall of 2015. The structure is expected to achieve Gold LEED Certification.

Last June, the building was $5 million, or 20 percent, over budget, but the project now has a guaranteed maximum price of $34 million, said Superintendent Alex Carter.

“This is a huge celebration for us,” Carter told school board members Tuesday. “This is the school we wanted and designed.”

The project’s excavation bid was $28,000 over budget, the foundation bid came in $19,000 under budget, and the construction bid was on budget, according to construction officials.

Both a Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant and a local bond are financing the project.

The current Montezuma-Cortez High School serves approximately 650 students. The new larger school is designed to accommodate 725 students.

To learn more about the design process of the new high school, visit www.dpsdesign.org/mchs.

tbaker@cortezjournal.com