Most of us pass by a building under construction and gauge its progress by what we can see from the outside but probably don’t give it much of a thought beyond that. Then, when we see the finished product, we marvel at its beauty or architecture.
Jerry Blizzard doesn’t have that luxury.
That’s because as the Weatherford ISD Executive Director of Facilities, it’s his job to think about it from start to finish – inside and out - and make sure that what you don’t see every day is done right.
When Blizzard arrived at WISD two years ago, he was tasked with doing something most school districts don’t do – several projects at once.
"The  bonds had already passed and I had two years to spend the $75 million," Blizzard said, explaining that the aggressive timeline was something he knew about from the beginning.
While most people think of the new Shirley Hall Middle School as the main project that is being completed, there is actually more to the equation. Last summer, there were 11 projects going at once. In addition to planning and beginning some preliminary work for the new HMS, upgrades to 10 campuses for safety and security as well as a new wing at Tison Middle School and other facility improvements were being done.
"When I look back and see all that…there were a lot of ants on top of an anthill," Blizzard recalled proudly. "It takes a huge amount of cooperation, support and dedication from a lot of people to make it work and it has."
Blizzard has been on the school facility side of things for the past 17 years but has experience in several different industries beyond that. That experience has helped him learn how to communicate and work effectively to get the job done the best way possible.
"You have to find a way to say ‘yes’ no matter what," he said. "It’s our job to fix the problem, no matter what it is, and we can’t throw our hands up in the air and give up."
While not everything went as smoothly as it should’ve, Blizzard said everyone from the contractor to the City of Weatherford’s planning department, building inspectors, fire marshal and "everyone in between" came together to help make it work.
"It was really a fantastic job by everyone involved and you don’t always see that," he admitted. "And we came in $6 million under budget without cutting corners. That’s a success in my book."
Despite all the accomplishments, when Hall opens on August 18, it will close this chapter in Blizzard’s book. He will be leaving WISD and moving to be closer to family and working at the South San Antonio School District.
"Weatherford will always be very special to me," Blizzard said. "This will be one of those milestone projects that will always be remembered.
"I liken it to walking on the moon. A lot of people circled the moon but we landed on it. This is the same thing to me."