COAL TOWNSHIP — The books, pencils and pens are all set and ready for students to begin the new school year at Shamokin Elementary School in Northumberland County.
However, outside the classrooms, a $4 million construction project is far from completed. A delayed start caused by funding put crews behind early on in the project.
“We`re just doing the best we can, we weren`t going to put it off another year, we waited a long time for these upgrades,” said Dave Petrovich Facility manager at Shamokin Area School District.
Teachers and administrators are continuing to prepare for school as usual, and said they’re educationally ready for school to start.
“All of the teachers have their supplies, their rooms are decorated, students names as you saw taking pictures their names are on their desks,” said Mary Teresa Komara, Elementary School Principal.
But with ceiling tiles still out-of-place and a lot of plumbing and cleaning work to be done, administrators toured the building and decided to push back the start of school in Shamokin.
“Although we could be ready to open Monday, we`re going to delay the start of school until Wednesday to make sure that all of the bugs are worked out and we`re ready for kids on Wednesday,” said Superintendent James Zack.
Contractors will be working hard with those extra two days to make sure the school is cleaned up and that students have the best working environment when they walk through these doors on Wednesday.
Work is continuing around the clock until then and throughout the school year during off hours to wrap up construction, something school leaders say shouldn’t affect education.
“With construction you always have some type of noise, but it`s going to be at the minimal, they`re going to be working in areas that students are not going to be at,” said Komara.
They hope to have all construction completed by November.