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Drought benefits construction at Forsyth County Schools
Some projects six months ahead of schedule
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Though we have seen rain this week, the ongoing drought actually helps school and road construction, such as Denmark High School. - photo by Jim Dean

FORSYTH COUNTY -- While recent weather forecasts of biblical proportions — drought, flood, fire, tornadoes —may be bringing sad news to those affected by storms, construction workers are ahead of schedule.

Renovation and addition projects at Forsyth County schools and construction on roadways actually benefitted from the lack of rain in October and November, officials said.

“No doubt it’s the dry, warm weather,” said Tom Wening, director of construction for Forsyth County Schools.

Of the 37 brick-and-mortar public schools in Forsyth County, 20 are undergoing some form of renovation or expansion.

Additions and renovations at South Forsyth, Forsyth Central and North Forsyth will all be complete by the end of this semester, Wening said.

“And really the original schedule had them going out until next summer,” he said. “So fortunately, we’re going to get them done six months in advance and decrease the annoyance of the construction to existing operations of the schools.”

Another high-profile school project is the construction of two new high schools, both of which have also benefitted from the delayed winter weather.

Denmark High School, which is being built on Mullinax Road in southwest Forsyth, is a month ahead of schedule “with structural steel progressing” after breaking ground at the end of May.

The Alliance Academy for Innovation of Cumming-Forsyth County, an alternative college and career academy going up on Lanier 400 Parkway in Cumming, broke ground at the end of November.

Wening said foundations are currently being built and that construction crews “gained a month with site work progress given the warm, dry weather.”

Good weather is especially needed for the Alliance Academy because of the two-year “real tight schedule” for its built out. Scheduled to open in August 2018, “getting out of the ground before winter weather hits is critical for that overall schedule.”

A drought across north Georgia began in March, and school projects in Forsyth County have been ahead of schedule since August, though weather is not the only reason Wening credits.

“It’s a combination of that,” he said, “and great firms and great people working on these projects.”