New School Construction

New Texas High School Faces Rising Construction Costs

Construction on Frisco ISD’s newest high school began this summer amidst rising costs of building materials and labor shortages. These challenges led to a $13 million project increase for the newly named Emerson High School, putting the total to about $111.6 million, reported the Dallas Morning News.

Various factors contributed to the higher price tag of the school but one of the greatest factors is the state’s worker shortage due to immigration policies and lack of specialized workers. A recent survey from the Associated General Contractors of America found that about 80 percent of contractors nationwide reported difficulties finding craft workers to hire.

In addition, immigrants make up nearly half of the Dallas area’s jobs in construction, according to a new study by the New American Economy. But latest immigration policies have contributed to a shortage of workers. Due to Frisco’s rapid growth, the school has had to compete for workers against other construction industries.

The rising cost of materials, like lumber and steel, impacted the 14 percent increase of the school as well, a spokeswoman for Frisco ISD told Dallas Morning News. The district also tacked on about $4 million worth of additional features that weren’t in the original school plans, including synthetic turf athletic fields, a paved marching band field and security features.

Emerson High School is funded through the 2014 bond program and set to be completed in 2021.

About the Author

Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of Spaces4Learning K-12. She can be reached at ymarquez@1105media.com.

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