Weekend mornings may get a little noisy for some Arlington residents.
The county board has approved starting construction at 7 a.m. every day until the county’s newest elementary school is finished.
They're trying to mostly finish the job by the start of this coming school year, which is Sept. 8. But there’s still a good amount of work left to do.
"I'm thrilled about the new school,” said Caroline Dana, mother to rising 4th grader. "I’m thrilled about our new commute.”
She lives across the street from what’s taking shape to become Discovery Elementary School.
The hammering and sawing worth it, assuming it means her son, Addison -- along with about 500 other students -- will get to start 4th grade at the new school.
"I'm really excited,” Addison chimed in.
Sherri Brown’s got three children slated to go to Discovery ES.
She’s trusting the county will get it done it time -- though they have fewer than six weeks to go.
“They're going to get the school open,” Brown said. "It's just too many pieces in play. We haven't seen anything contingency-wise.”
John Chadwick, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations for APS, acknowledges there’s a “fair amount of work to be done”.
But he’s assuring parents contractors are working extended hours to met the deadline.
On July 18, the Arlington County Board approved a request by the school system to allow the contractor to work at 7 a.m. weekend mornings as well as holidays, instead of the 10 a.m. start time that’s usually permitted.
The school district has sent the following letter to parents:
A message from ARLINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Good morning, Discovery Families:
We hope your summer has been enjoyable. Like you, we are all looking forward to the fall and an opportunity to welcome our students to our new Discovery Elementary School in September.
Because recently we have heard some questions and even concerns from members of the community, we wanted to update you on where we are on the project. At this point, the contractor has fallen behind schedule and there are several reasons:
Winter weather and the spring and summer rain has delayed some of the work and timetable.
We have also had some delays with deliveries of materials for the project.
As a result, both of these have impacted some of the “sequencing” for construction.
To help us get back on track and make up for these delays, APS made a request to Arlington County to begin work three hours earlier on the weekends (to begin at 7 a.m.). In addition, our APS Design and Construction staff has been working with the contractor and are focusing on taking all necessary steps to make up the delays over the next six weeks. Staff has been and will continue to meet with the contractor daily as they work to ensure that progress on the project continues and the school is ready for students on the first day.
From now through Labor Day weekend, the project will continue to evolve and things will change daily. We have had similar issues of this kind at other schools, and the delays did not interfere with classrooms being ready to accommodate students at the beginning of the school year.
We wanted to take this opportunity to assure everyone in the Discovery School community that we are doing everything to ensure that the school is ready for students on September 8. Like you, we believe that Discovery will be a wonderful new school where children can learn and excel for many years to come, and we are anxious to see the completion of the project.
Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations