From Staff Reports
KEYSER, W.Va. — Construction of the new Keyser Primary School will not be complete by the time school starts on Aug. 15 because of an issue with flooring, according to Mineral County Superintendent of Schools Rob Woy.
“It would take a miracle to make the August 15 start date,” said Alan Shirley, clerk of the works for the project. “We tried aggressively to finish by then, it just didn’t work. If everything would have hit like clockwork we would have made the deadline. It’s the flooring that’s putting a snag in everything.”
The flooring was supposed to be put in at the beginning of this month but there has been a two-week delay because the moisture in the concrete is too high and the glue won’t stick to it, according to Shirley. The concrete should be at 75 percent moisture and it’s at 80 percent and since the glue is environmentally friendly it has to meet certain requirements in order for it to work. The air conditioning has been turned on and humidifiers have been brought in to try to lower the moisture of the concrete, according to Shirley.
“We are progressing and trying to do everything we can,” said Shirley. “We want to make sure we have the best possible floor and that it holds.”
The paving at the school has been completed but the flooring is delaying other projects that require the floor to be laid.
Shirley has no doubt that construction will be completed by the October contract date.
In the best interest of students, the following decisions have been made, Woy said.
• Keyser area students in grades K-four will be temporarily housed at Keyser Middle School.
• Keyser Pre-K Head Start students will be temporarily housed at the former Keyser Pre-K Head Start building.
• The transition of fifth-graders from Elk Garden, Burlington and New Creek to Keyser Middle School will take place as scheduled on the first day of school.
• Overflow preschool students from the Keyser area who were attending Fountain Primary School last year will attend a temporary classroom that is being set up at Student Services.
Personnel actions for professional and service personnel that were approved for the 2013-2014 school year will take place as scheduled.
The bus schedule that has been set to accommodate students attending the new Keyser Primary School will be in effect on the first day of school.
The goal is to open the new Keyser Primary School sometime during the first semester of the school year.
The building boasts such features as a 496-foot hallway that will contain lockers and eight skylights.
Each prekindergarten and first grade will have its own bathroom; the building also features a music room complete with acoustic paneling and an instrument room.
Construction on the $13.5 million primary school began June 11.
The design of the school includes 31 full-size classrooms, with general education, art and music, and two special education classrooms; five medium-size classrooms, which include two computer labs and three special education classrooms; and nine small, instructional spaces for speech, special education, occupational therapy/physical therapy and Title I.
The new school will house grades prekindergarten through four.
The existing Keyser Primary Middle School will be renovated into a dedicated middle school for fifth through eighth grade.
A Qualified Zone Academy Bonds agreement will fund $4 million of the $13.5 million project, with the remaining $8.8 million coming from the state’s School Board Authority and $1.2 million from the school system.