Construction for new Uvalde school on hold due to project cost

Foundation sought additional bids from a second construction firm

UVALDE, Texas – Construction for a new school in Uvalde to replace Robb Elementary after a mass shooting in May 2022 claimed the lives 19 students and two teachers is on hold, according to the Uvalde Moving Forward Foundation.

The groundbreaking ceremony was slated for late October as the bidding process was wrapping up.

“When we finished evaluating the bid, it was about $10 million higher than we originally budgeted for the campus,” said Tim Miller, executive director of Uvalde Moving Forward Foundation.

The foundation sought additional bids from a second construction firm to ensure it was getting the best cost to start the work on the new school.

“We are expecting to receive the initial results of the second bidding process this week and anticipate completing the analysis of the bids early in January. Once the analysis is complete, we will finalize the plans to complete the necessary remaining fundraising to begin construction,” the Uvalde Moving Forward Foundation stated.

The budget to build the new school was set at $55 million. Miller said the first bid came in at $64 million.

“We are trying to get that number down to close to $55 million as possible so that we can feel better about signing an agreement with a contractor so we can start construction,” Miller said.

The budget for the project was set approximately a year ago. Miller said the board understands that there have been increases in construction and supply costs since then. He added that the board is trying to be smart with the money raised to build the campus. Approximately $45 million has been raised through cash and in-kind donations.

“We are just trying to be a very good consumer of the funds that have been donated and the funds that will be donated so that we’re getting the best price possible, and we get the construction started, and we have the funding to complete the construction and so that we have a new school for the students and teachers and the community of Uvalde,” Miller said.

The foundation said the construction process will take about 18 months to complete once they begin. Due to the delay, Miller said the project would likely be completed during the 2025-2026 school year. He said the board is expected to finalize its decision sometime early next year.

“At that point, the board will take a look at the pricing,” Miller said. “They’ll take a look at our fundraising plan, and they’ll make a decision as to how soon we can go ahead and start construction because the plan would be to start construction with the funds that we have and then continue to fundraise so that we have all the funds that are needed throughout the 18 months. Ideally, it’d be great to have all the money in the bank before we get started. And so we will continue to let people know what our needs are, especially after we get that new price of the second contractor.”

To learn more about the project and how you can donate, visit the Uvalde Moving Forward Foundation.

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About the Authors

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

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