Archive for Monday, August 13, 2007

Opening of South Junior High, Broken Arrow could be delayed; decision on Tuesday

Teachers and administrators to meet Tuesday morning

August 13, 2007


The start of school Wednesday at the new South Junior High School, 2734 La., which is still under construction, could be delayed one or two days. A decision will be made by noon Tuesday.

The opening of Broken Arrow Elementary School, adjacent to South, could also be delayed.

Seventh grade students as of now are scheduled to start with a half-day Wednesday, and the first full day is scheduled for Thursday.

Randy Weseman, superintendent of Lawrence public schools, said this afternoon that South's teachers will meet with principal Will Fernandez Tuesday morning. School administrators will then report to Weseman, who will make the decision about a possible delay.

"We just want to make sure that we've given our teachers ample time to get ready," Weseman said.

Teachers were allowed into the new building for the first time this morning and were working around several busy construction workers, several who were hauling in truckloads of furniture.

Weseman and Tom Bracciano, division director of operations and facility planning, said a possible delayed start of one to two days would be more so that teachers could prepare their classrooms.

"In terms of the construction of the building, it's what you've heard. We're not going to have all sections of it complete, but it will be safe. It will be usable in that respect," Weseman said. "But to have it educationally ready I think may require some additional preparation."

Teachers' curriculum materials and other items are still coming out of storage. Administrators had not planned for the school's gym and some science classrooms on the south side of the building to be ready.

While construction continues - through September - some teachers will either be traveling from classroom to classroom, or temporarily teaching in spaces that were not originally designed as classrooms.

The decision could also affect Broken Arrow School students, who start class Wednesday.

Also the old South, next to the new one, is scheduled to start being demolished Wednesday. That will take 45 days, Bracciano said.

The district's official announcement about South's start date will be posted Tuesday on as soon as it is available.


Aileen Dingus 10 years, 8 months ago

Oh do NOT put this on the teachers and the staff. " that teachers could prepare their classrooms..." The teachers were ready to prepare their classrooms last week and were turned away.

How about "so that lunches can be prepared" or how about "so kids don't have to go to classes wearing hardhats."

The construction is behind schedule. Plain and simple. THAT is why there may be a delay.

dragonfly0221 10 years, 8 months ago

I as a parent of two BA students would be much happier to have the start of school delayed, so that our kids can have the quality of education with out disturbance they desevre. They were disrupted enough the end of last year. I also hear they are having classes for South in the hallway since the rooms aren't done. Let's admit they fell behind schedule and postpone the start of school.

midwestmom 10 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Weseman - is there an occupancy permit? I was told the buildings failed inspection. True? In case of a fire, is there adequate, FAST, egress available for staff & students? Can fire trucks even approach the buildings? How are wheelchair bound students going to get in/out of the building?

mom_of_three 10 years, 8 months ago

There was lots of rain this spring, which put the building behind schedule. I don't think it was a scheduling problem necessarily on the district's end.

Terri Ferguson 10 years, 8 months ago

I think it is rediculous that we even try to begin school in August! Why cant we begin in September and go thru end of May! I cant imagine that my two seventh graders will be able to concentrate much with all the construction and demolition going on. This is crazey.

jmadison 10 years, 8 months ago

This should have been expected. Our local government is incompetent. Also the names of the people on the school board at the time of the construction of the previous building should be published. 30 yrs and the building was unusable. The taxpayers in Lawrence should just take a shovel and pitch 25-50 per cent of their taxes down a block hole. Thats the return on our taxes.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 8 months ago

WHERE is the liqudated damages on the contractor? Did the City of Lawrence schools forget to get a performance specification on the OPENING DAY OF SCHOOL for a CONSTRUCTION PROJECT building A NEW SCHOOL BUILDING????

Where is the administrator?? There is your problem. A school administrator (that is why we are paying them BIG BUCKS) should have ridden rough on the General COntractor. But I bet he "budddied up" to the man and believed the GC's lies all the way until WAY TOO LATE!!!

I would also bet that the majority of the GC and subcontractors employ illegal aliens as well. Many things had to be done several times on this projhect, because of icorrectly installed items. If you are hiring illegal aliens that cannot speak english, then they MUST provide a supervisor that CAN EXPLAIN things like specifications, installation instructions, etc.!!!

This is sickening.

cowboy 10 years, 8 months ago

funny , i drove by weeks ago and thought there is no way this thing will be done in time , yes i made that assessment in one 30 second drive by. Seems the contractor could have done the same .

Nikki May 10 years, 8 months ago

I am with pywacket on this. I'm NOT surprised they aren't ready. I was shocked to drive by so many times and it seemed like no one was there working. But, I also heard they didn't pass inspections at broken arrow and haven't even had any at south. How can they have kids in there?

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