Delayed Start for Forest City Regional Schools

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FOREST CITY -- Forest City Regional School District students are getting a longer summer. The renovation project at the Susquehanna County school is a bit behind, so the building won't be ready in time for the scheduled August 30 start date.

"The construction project is to improve the overall safety of the school, so if it takes longer, it takes longer. It has to be done," mom of two, Krisi Fitzsimmons said.

The Superintendent of schools announced Tuesday schools will not open until almost three weeks later, on September 19.

"They're looking forward to school, so it's a bit disappointing for them, but we'll find things to do," Fitzsimmons said.

She stays at home with her kids during the summer, but other moms do not have that option.

"A lot of them are upset about it because they have to find babysitters for those extra three weeks, or daycare for those three weeks," mom of four, Tarah Evans said.

The renovation project initially came in significantly over budget. The board of directors reduced the cost by $1.3 million, but that delayed the start of construction.

"We certainly recognize the inconvenience to our students and families and the impact that it will have, so we hope we have given them enough time," said Forest City Regional School District Superintendent Jessica Aquilina.

Last school year, the Forest City Regional School District had 17 snow days, bringing the end of the school year to the end of June. Many are concerned what the delayed start will mean if northeastern Pennsylvania sees another snowy winter.

"It's affecting my son that's a senior, just because he wants to graduate before the end of June," Evans said.

Superintendent Aquilina says she is working hard to figure that issue out.

"Really reduced any time off for our students beyond that September 19 start date, our tentative last day is now June 8. We're going to obviously have to see what the winter brings," she said.

If it's another bad winter, Aquilina says she will go to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for help to make sure the students finish with the required amount of days.