District, builder celebrate turning point in Matzke ES construction

November 23, 2016

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Matzke Elementary School Assistant Principals Kyla Mote, left, and Sarah Parker sign the final steel beam for the new school building during a topping out ceremony on Nov. 18. The new campus will open in August 2017.

Nov. 23, 2016—Representatives from Purcell Construction, Inc., and CFISD conducted a “topping out” ceremony at the Matzke Elementary School replacement campus on Nov. 18, commemorating a long-time tradition in building construction.

The topping out celebration is a builders’ rite held when the last beam is placed atop a structure. The beam was painted white and decorated by the notes and signatures of district representatives.

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Construction workers lift the final beam that will be placed on the new Matzke Elementary School campus at the topping out ceremony on Nov. 18.

Designed by PBK and funded by the 2014 bond package, the new Matzke campus is located at 10002 Mills Road and will open for the 2017-2018 school year. The facility will feature a two-story classroom wing and adjacent one-story building, and include regular classrooms, a gymnasium, science labs, food service, administration and ancillary support areas.

“The project has gone really well and we are very pleased with the progress. We are excited to be able to open the facility in August,” said Roy Sprague, associate superintendent of facilities, construction and support services. “We always like celebrating the topping out ceremony, representing a milestone date for our construction schedule so we can continue with the rest of the phases of building.”

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Dr. Mark Henry, CFISD superintendent of schools, observes the final beam being placed on the new Matzke Elementary School construction site at the topping out ceremony on Nov. 18.

The builders lost nearly 50 working days due to rain in 2016, but senior project manager Jesse Clayburn said a team effort has kept the facility on schedule.

“Purcell and PBK have been working with us for a long time, and they know the type of work we want to see and expect,” Clayburn said. “They joined together with our facilities team to work overtime and work on weekends to get us back on schedule.”

The next big construction milestone after topping out is getting “dried in,” according to Clayburn, when the roof and walls are completed so the outside environment no longer impacts construction. After interior finishes, carpet and paint are added, the purchasing department will deliver new furniture in the early summer. School administrators will return to the completed campus in late July to begin preparations for the 2017-2018 school year.

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Matzke Principal Cathy Jacobs, third from left, presents student-drawn renderings of the new elementary school to Board member Bob Covey, left; Board President Darcy Mingoia, second from left; and Superintendent Dr. Mark Henry, far right; at the topping out ceremony on Nov. 18. 

Matzke Principal Cathy Jacobs and Assistant Principals Sarah Parker and Kyla Mote also attended the topping out ceremony. Jacobs thanked everyone for their work on the campus and presented Board members and Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent, with framed student drawings of the new school building.

“It’s rare to have a school staff on board at this point in the process, because we’re usually building a brand-new school and the principal hasn’t been named yet,” Clayburn said. “Because it’s a replacement school we were able to get their feedback early on. They’re very excited, and we’re excited to be giving this school to them and their community.”

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