EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s hard to miss the construction being done at Coronado High School while driving down Mesa Street.
At $54 million, the project is the largest and most costly bond project, according to the El Paso Independent School District. West El Paso residents voted on the bond in 2016, construction began in 2019 and the project will be completed in 2023.
EPISD Chief Quality Officer Alan Wiernicki said the project is be completed within budget and on time. The plan was always for it to be completed in 2023, he said.
However, there have been a few set backs in certain phases.
“The overall project is not delayed. We do have phases within the construction schedule. For example, we had expected to deliver the new academic building and the new field house this summer for the start of the new school year,” Wiernicki said. “But we encountered unforeseen conditions that will prevent that from happening.”
As for the complete project timeline, Wiernicki said it is expected to finish 14 days later than EPISD originally had planned due to COVID-19.
“The 14 days that were requested from Coronado were due to COVID-19, where there was an outbreak and they had to shut down the entire construction site for 14 days,” he said.
One Coronado High School freshman is hopeful he will get to enjoy the project his senior year, knowing the school will be under construction for the majority of his high school career.
“I’ve been like waiting, asking myself how will it look, because it will look very different to the type of building we have now,” said Alejandro Orosco.
Nearby resident Carlos Corrales said he can always hear construction noise, as his backyard faces the school. He said it’s been so long he can’t even remember if he voted on the bond or not, but wishes the end date was near.
“I guess their planning was way out of line because I don’t think it should have taken this long, it’s been too long,” said Corrales.
The project was part of a $668 million bond that included 17 construction projects across the district. Some of those projects have been completed, others are still in progress, such as Coronado, and some have yet to begin.
“Just understand that we are within our timeline for the construction contract,” Wiernicki said. “We are currently within budget and, when this is all said and done in 2023, we know we’re going to open a beautiful Coronado High School that the entire community will be proud of.”
Projects that have been completed from the 2016 bond include:
- The new Dr. Torres Elementary School
- The renovation of Crockett Elementary School
- The purchase of Apple laptops for all secondary students in the District
- The purchase of school buses to replace our aging fleet
- Upgrades to playgrounds at elementary schools
- Upgrades to athletic facilities throughout district high school
- In the fall we will open three new schools: Archie Duran Elementary School, Don Haskins PK-8 School and Gen. Douglas MacArthur PK-8.