New JHS Hits Major Construction Milestone

Construction crews at the new Johnston High School are raising the roof. Literally.

As work continues on the 369,000-square-foot facility, crews are installing trusses for the gymnasium; 122-foot, 4-inch wide pieces of lattice-like support that play a critical role in the construction progress.

“We consider this a milestone because it is a significant step in getting the roof on this part of the building,” said David Dominguez, Stahl Construction Project Manager. “Trusses provide a network of support between the structured steel beams along the sides and decking that goes over the top of them. You’ll never see them once it’s finished, but they are crucial to a roof of this size.”

The new high school’s gymnasium will measure approximately 36,000-square-feet. It is designed to load from the top, meaning patrons will enter on the first or second level of seating, as opposed to entering directly on the gym floor. The gym will be surrounded by locker rooms, the weight and fitness room, and the wrestling room.

The trusses arrive to the construction site in two pieces and are assembled by crews before being lifted into place by a crane into the gym area. Watch a time-lapse video of the trusses going in.

“Installation of the trusses goes fairly quickly once they are assembled,” said Dominguez. “After we have all 32 trusses in place, we’ll put the decking on, then the roof.”

While the trusses fly through the sky to their final landing spot, work continues on the classroom areas and auditorium space. Windows are now in all of classroom section B and about 60 percent of classroom section C. Crews will continue to install windows in the classroom sections and auditorium as they arrive. Enclosing the building means faster (and warmer) progress inside now that construction is moving into the winter months.

“We hope to have the major areas enclosed by the time the really cold weather hits,” said Dominguez. “We’ve begun to put up drywall in some classroom spaces and with an enclosed building, we can continue doing that without the worry of the interior getting wet.”

The construction project is the largest in the history of the Johnston Community School District. The new high school in its entirety will cost approximately $74.64 million. As of November 2015, construction was on schedule and on budget.