Anna Independent School District’s newest elementary school is nearing completion. At the last school board meeting the Anna board of trustees received an update on just how close the building is to being finished, and the final touches are now being added. Anna residents might have seen some of these finishing touches on Saturday, July 22, as Lee Lewis Contractors installed the air conditioning units on the tops of the school facilities using helicopters to get the job done.


John Clowers, assistant project manager said there were 73 total units installed with the use of a helicopter. Clowers said using the helicopters over a crane saves quite a bit of time.


“It took only three hours to install 73 units,” Clowers said.


These units are not small by any means. They vary in size from 544 pounds to 2,366 pounds.


George DeJohn, from Claycomb and Associates, said while he was onsite, he witnessed a few of the units being installed.


“I know that each unit took about two minutes for the helicopter to pick up and set on the roof, just because I happened to be out there watching it,” DeJohn said.


Clowers said the company opted to use the helicopter instead of a crane is for ease and speed.


“To set the units with a crane takes multiple days; setting up the crane and resetting it up at new locations to be able to reach all of the units takes time,” Clowers said. “With a helicopter, they are in and out and can keep moving on other parts of the job; not getting delayed with the setting of the units.”


Clowers said even though using the helicopter costs a little bit more, it pays off in the end.


“With everything included, the helicopter ends up being a little more expensive than setting the units with a crane,” Clowers said. “They may spend more to set them, but save with the labor costs.”