The single largest project to date for Hill & Wilkinson, J.J. Pearce High School Addition and Renovation, is well underway.
The project consists of four phases, spanning over three years, and touching a majority of the existing 500,000 sf campus with 67,000 sf of true addition to the existing footprint. Phase One consisted of a two-story classroom addition and storm shelter, as well as interior renovations to additional classrooms and the fine arts section of the building.
J.J. Pearce High School Principal, Carrie Breedlove, commented on her experience working alongside Hill & Wilkinson.
“The collaboration that goes between the construction team, J.J. Pearce administration, and Richardson ISD has truly been better than any of us could have ever dreamed or expected. The answer is always ‘Yes, we’ll make it happen,’ instead of ‘No, we won’t be able to do that.’ Every single thing has been completed on time. Instead of us just talking about the project around the table, Hill & Wilkinson will get up from the table and walk with us in the space so that we are able to see and understand exactly where things are going to happen. That’s something different from what most people are willing to do.”
Every project has its own unique challenges, but Phase One of this project battled against the clock to ensure timely completion for the first day of school.
As noted by Assistant Superintendent Patrick Allen, “When working on a school, there is no grace period. The kids will show up on a specific date and you must be done.”
Assistant Project Manager Lindy Hammon said that although they had a tight deadline, the trade partners understood the constraints of a school project and were able to put in the time and coordination necessary to have everything ready for the first day of school.
“Although it has its challenges, it is fun to be a part of the school campus,” Lindy said. “We hear band practice every morning and evening during football season, and we get to see the seniors’ reserved painted parking spots – they are so creative! We also got to serve the teachers breakfast on the first day of school.”
In addition to enjoying the school environment, the project team found their own ways to keep things light-hearted onsite.
“When our Senior Superintendent, Waylon, left for vacation, the team lowered his ceiling and painted it pink,” Lindy said.
Waylon Minshew noted that this was not the only prank that took place in the trailer.
“You have to double-check your keyboards around here. Sometimes your keys will be mysteriously swapped.”
Aside from pranks, Waylon affirmed that this is a special project to be a part of.
“J.J. Pearce has been renovated numerous times over the past 50-plus years, but this will by far be the most dramatic change. I am very proud to be part of the project!”
Richardson ISD Bond Project Manager Jonathan Greig commented on his experience working alongside the Hill & Wilkinson team.
“I’ve worked for 30 or 40 different general contractors in my career, and so far, Hill & Wilkinson is at the top of my list at number one. I never feel like I’m lacking knowledge or help. It seems like there’s always someone on the bench within their firm that they can bring in for any challenging situation. I go home and sleep well at night knowing that if a problem occurs it’s going to be addressed immediately, safely, and in the most cost-effective way possible. The way they approach issues that arise is just beyond words. They’re compassionate and cost-effective when administering a solution for any given problem.”
H&W Project Executive Matt Davis echoed Jonathan’s feelings of gratitude for the spirit of collaboration throughout the project.
“What a treat to work with a group as collaborative as the J.J. Pearce staff has been. The staff at J.J. Pearce has been one of the most accommodating teams I have worked with, especially considering how intimate we are with the campus.”
History is being made as so many people that are passionate about the legacy of J.J. Pearce come together to provide the space for this school to continue to impact students, families, and faculty for years to come.
Congratulations to our project team- Matt Sisco, Matt Davis, Waylon Minshew, Mike Yelm, Jeff Kirk, Cail Redden, Lindy Hammon, Canyon Conley, Patrick Allen, Connor Bruinius, Richard Kelly, and Nick Stramel!