Dublin Unified School District leaders recently revealed that Phase 1 of the Emerald High School construction has been delayed by several months, meaning students will begin attending classes onsite at the start of the next school year, instead of this spring.
Superintendent Chris Funk shared the updates on the highly anticipated second comprehensive high school via an email release sent out last Friday, which also included the news that the project has saved an estimated $49 million in costs, prompting staff to push for a 600-seat theater on the campus.
Although contractors had initially hoped to finalize Phase 1 of construction by Dec. 31, the completion date has been moved to March 20, 2024. In his notice, the superintendent shared the delay has been caused by a myriad of factors, citing supply chain issues, weather delays, labor shortages and Division of State Architect approvals.
"We know this project is the top priority for many in our community. While we know this is disappointing, we want to assure you that this will not impact the learning experience of our EHS students," Funk said of the delay.
The inaugural class of Emerald students, the accompanying administrative staff and instructors have been operating out of portables on the Dublin High campus since the start of this school year.
"Staying at DHS for the remainder of the school year will eliminate the disruption associated with moving to a new campus mid-year and allow us to continue working with nine teachers at DHS where students are dually enrolled," Funk added.. "This also provides the time needed to lay the foundation and steel the second tower in Phase II, test all the systems, and work out any kinks before students and staff arrive."
In alignment with the new timeline, Emerald sport activities will be able to take place on campus starting summer 2024. On June 1, staff will have access to the site and beginning in August, Emerald freshmen and sophomores will attend school onsite.
The superintendent also shared in his report that Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project have saved $49 million from the original cost estimates. The project period was initially expected to cost $385 million. With the saved resources, district leaders suggested the idea of adding another structure to the Emerald campus.
"Thanks to the hard work, collaboration, and intelligent decisions made by our facilities team, (partners) PBK Architects and BHM Construction, we now project that our district will save just over $49M on Phase 1 and 2," Funk wrote. "With that, our facilities team will be presenting a recommendation to fund a 600 fixed-seat theater to our Board of Trustees."
The board voted 3-2 on Tuesday to approve the theater project with a budget of about $38.3 million.
Once completed, the Emerald High School will host an estimated 1,300 students from grades nine to 12. The campus will feature a gymnasium, visual and performing arts classrooms, sports track, football field and more educational facilities.