WILMINGTON -- Due to a request by the new principal Tom Fitzgerald and assistant principal Leanne Monroe, Twin Valley Middle and High School will open its doors to students in September rather than August as was originally planned.
"They really wanted some time to build relationships, get an understanding and build the team a bit before things get started," Twin Valley School Building Committee Chairman Phil Taylor said. "It helps us on our end. It gives us more time to tie up some loose ends and get things as prepared as can be."
The school will open on Wednesday, Sept. 3, instead of Aug. 28, and it will mark the first time Twin Valley high school students attend classes in the Whitingham facility. It will also mark the first time middle school and high school students from Wilmington and Whitingham go to the same school.
Twin Valley School Board Chairman Seth Boyd said the pushback had nothing to do with construction and the extra time would allow for the new administrators to hold an orientation with their new staff.
The gym is expected to be finished approximately two weeks into the school year. That was expected to take longer than other parts of the project.
"In general, we’re still feeling confident we’ll be ready. They’re still turning things over to us on time," said Taylor. "I think things are still pretty far ahead."
The middle school pod and paving was near completion as of Sunday afternoon.
Expenditures for furniture and other materials were recently approved. There was leftover money from the contingency fund to make the purchases, which will also include needed floor mats.
The consolidation of Wilmington and Whitingham academic programs began with the Elementary School. That part went over budget and may need to be absorbed in the middle and high school project, Taylor told the Reformer.
"We may have to absorb that out of the high school budget, in which case it’s kind of just kicking the can down the road, which means we’d be over budget on this project and in which case we’d have to go to the general fund," he added. "So it’s just the way things work sometimes. We’re still feeling pretty good with everything we have."
There were other items attended to during construction phases that were never part of the original scope of the project. Taylor said the same type of situation occurred at the Twin Valley Elementary School, where items were addressed throughout the year. The elementary school’s front entrance was recently completed.
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