Faculty and students in the Talawanda school district will have to wait a little longer than planned to move into the new Talawanda High School. The opening has been pushed back from January to August 2012.
Due to critical project delays including wiring technology, temperature controls and classroom locations, the school will not be ready by Jan. 17, the original opening date, according to District Superintendent Kelly Spivey.
The delays are due to various projects not being completed on schedule, including completion of cement work, cleaning, building inspections and various other projects, according to Spivey.
Unfortunately the setback will cost more money due to the fact that the district will have to pay operating costs for two high schools, along with other factors including transportation. The transportation schedule will change and more minutes will be added between the middle and high school routes, which will cost more money, according to Spivey.
“Talawanda School District hired a construction management team to schedule the work and monitor the progress of the construction,” Spivey said via email. “Two weeks ago, it became obvious to the owners that the certificate of occupancy may be on schedule, however, critical projects that would impair the instructional practices (wiring for technology) could take several weeks.”
“It is extremely important to continue to focus on the success of our students and staff,” Spivey said via email.
Talawanda High School currently has 1,023 students, according to Spivey. All students and staff will make the move to the new facility on the first day of school in August 2012.
Miami University sophomore Rob Schaepe said he feels the move will be better in August.
“I feel like it’s better to start the school year in August,” he said. “If it were me, it wouldn’t really make sense to start in the middle of the school year, I’d rather just have it be the full year in a new building.”
Spivey said the setback isn’t setting back the district.
“We want to focus on the positives,” she said. “We are so excited to have a new state of the art building.”
As for what will happen to the old high school once the new one is completed, the building will be kept until construction for the new elementary school will begin, according to Spivey.
“The Board determined last spring to keep the building until we know when we can construct the new Kramer Elementary School,” Spivey said.
According to Spivey, the Ohio School Facility Commissions will notify Talawanda when the funding will be available for construction of the new school. The Talawanda Board of Education also is willing to consider a lease option during the transitional period, although as of now, no interested party has yet come forth.
“The majority of the staff, students and community are disappointed that the move is delayed,” Spivey said. “However, no one wants to move into a building that isn’t complete.”