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Construction begins again on Harrisonburg’s second high school

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 4:41 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - After 15 months of being put on hold, construction started up again Wednesday morning on Harrisonburg’s Second High School.

Crews were back at work at 7 a.m. after Harrisonburg City Council approved Change Order 5 which expired the halt on construction on July 14.

“They’re here, they’re here just gotta start cranking up the equipment and get moving again,” Jim DeLucas, chief development officer with Nielsen, said.

Since April 30 no development had been made on the site, but crews already had equipment on site Wednesday to pick up where they left off.

“Today we’re getting ready to start stripping topsoil and drilling for some rock,” DeLucas said.

The cost to get machines up and moving again is an additional $7.7 million toward the overall cost of the project and also pushes the completion date back to December 2023.

“We’re going to revisit that in the spring whether we can get earlier, our goal will be to finish it so they’re not opening up in the middle of a school year but that’s yet to be seen due to mother nature,” DeLucas said.

According to Mike Parks, spokesperson for the city, the total cost of the project comes to $119 million which includes $114 million for the construction and $5 million for the land.

Tuesday night, the developers also focused on three areas where costs could be cut including asphalt, copper and metal framing pricing.

DeLucas says if the city decides to lock in with the cost for those materials by the end of this month the price would stay the same. On the other hand, if they decide to pay for it later that price could go up or down.

“In 33 years this is the first time something like this has happened but then again we’ve never been through a pandemic like we were,” DeLucas said. “So we understand the reasons why it was put on paused but we’re also glad that it’s come back.”

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