The desired opening date for the new Storm Lake elementary school, the beginning of the fall semester for 2008, is being pushed back, according to Superintendent Dr. Paul Tedesco, and at this point, a definite completion date is impossible to determined.
The good news is that the work is now in progress. Tedesco said there are several contributing factors as to why the plans are running behind schedule.
One year ago, the plans were only ideas and an election was still months away, he said. Legalities limited the scheduling for the election, which held the planning back.
A newly passed law Jan. 1 requires that specs for a new construction such as the school must be approved by a code enforcement officer before they can be bid out. Approval will be sought this next month and it could then take up to eight additional weeks to receive approval from the state before the bidding can proceed, Tedesco said.
It is hoped that the bidding process can take place by August with construction to begin by September or October. Still, the delay is enough that a fall completion next year is probably impossible.
It is possible, Tedesco said, that the building could be finished by the end of the year in 2008, leaving the district to decide whether to try to move in over the winter break to start the second semester in the new site, going up across the way from the existing middle school, or to wait for the following school year to begin.
Moving could be done between the semesters, Tedesco said, but it would require a great deal of volunteer help from the community and some very creative scheduling to accomplish the outfitting of the school in such a short time.
"I'd be ready to help move in any time of year," said fourth grade teacher Jacquie Bauer, who said she is psyched up about the new facility.