Hutto ISD is ready to begin construction on the main part of its new middle school, Gus Almquist Middle School.

At a Jan. 12 meeting, the district's board of trustees approved a $60.18 million guaranteed maximum price agreement with Drymalla Construction Company LLC for construction on the school.

The agreement covers all construction on the project not covered under the $7.55 million agreement approved last November, which mostly included site work, such as foundations and parking lots.

At $67.73 million, the two agreements combined come in just below the $71 million budgeted for the school.

"I'm very impressed with [Drymalla's] attention to detail, and they really went out of their way and did their best to get us the best price possible at this point," said Mark Willoughby, the district's director of facilities planning and capital improvement.

When complete, Gus Almquist Middle School will be a 1,200-student-capacity school with dedicated spaces for fine arts, athletics, science, and career and technical education.

The expected duration of the project is 17 months with a target opening date of May 2024.