Hood River Schools Construction projects delayed

Crews are working weekends at May Street School, but classrooms won't be finished there until well after the school year starts.

The May Street project, and work at Hood River Valley High School and Cascade Locks School are all well behind schedule, the Hood River County School Board was told Wednesday by superintendent Jerry Sessions and assistant superintendent Rick Eggers.

Students and teachers won't be able to move into the four new classrooms at May Street until Sept. 24. The high school locker room won't be done until Sept. 4, and the expected completion date of the music room at Cascade Locks is mid-September, Sessions said. Asbestos clean-up delayed the Cascade Locks science room remodeling by 10 days.

"It will actually be a miracle if we make any of those dates," Sessions said.

The locker room project was delayed when Silco Construction, the general contractor, had to redo a new sidewalk and also found the locker brackets were too short. (Exterior work at the high school is not scheduled to be completed until Spring 2002.)

School starts Sept. 4 for all elementary students (except for some kindergartners who start Sept. 5), sixth graders, ninth graders, and all new students. All returning middle school and high school students return Sept. 5

"This is a very frustrating thing for us, as school gears up," Sessions said of the project delays and their potential impacts on the first weeks of school.

"For people like us, not to be ready for school on the first day, is a frustrating thing," he said.

Sessions said May Street principal Dan Patton has already contacted teachers and custodians to begin planning for the moving day later in September.

School officials were also dissatisfied with the condition of the outside of the high school, where construction supplies as well as slabs of broken concrete have been scattered.

Eggers said, "It also affects the athletes, they get all geared up for the season to begin and you have all this stuff to deal with."

Athletes came to the school one day last week and found the work crews had turned out the lights in the gym. They got the contractor to turn the power on again. Athletes and coaches are also dealing with the noise factor as drilling and pounding ensues in the locker room.

"We issued 45 sets of ear plugs," athletic director Glenn Elliott said.

New teacher inservice starts at 10 a.m. Monday at Hood River Middle School. In-service for the entire staff will be Tuesday at Hood River Valley High School.

The Hood River News is planning to publish fall transportation schedules in the Sept. 1 edition.

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