Weather held up the start of two of Solanco School District's major construction projects, business manager Sandra Tucker said last week.
"At the start [of the renovation of Clermont Elementary School and Swift Middle School and Solanco High School's activities building] we had a lot of rain and snow and that held things up at the beginning," Tucker said.
Now weather is an issue for one of the projects.
"We're hoping rain does not delay the paving at Swift-Clermont," Tucker said.
The contractor expects to start preparation work on August 8 and repave parking lots in front of and behind the connected schools the following week. Rain could delay that work, however.
"We're counting on the work being done by the time school opens," the business manager said.
New teachers report on August 16; all teachers return August 20; and students come back to school on August 26.
The contractors for the renovation of Swift and Clermont schools and for construction of Solanco's activities building have also run into another problem.
"Both contractors said they were struggling to get workers, both laborers and skilled trades," Tucker said.
That hasn't delayed the projects, however.
The work at the connected schools is on schedule, with new entrances, offices, and classrooms expected to be ready when school opens August 26.
Two other parts of the project - a new gymnasium for Clermont and a new auditorium for Swift - won't be completed until October. Clermont's existing gym will become a large group instruction room once the new gym is ready for use.
That, too, is on schedule, Tucker said. Work on the connected buildings that house Clermont Elementary and Swift Middle School is expected to cost $16.5 million. That's less than the architect's estimated cost of of $17.3 million.
Work on one of the district's other major projects, reconstructing the former wrestling building as an activities center, is progressing well, Tucker said.
"We're fairly well along and we expect it to be fully completed by October 15," Tucker said. "It's on schedule and we're down to doing interior work."
The contractor ran into some unexpected problems with the slab that was in place and had to do additional work.
The old building, put up by the wrestling boosters in 1992, collapsed under heavy snow on March 23, 2018.
The new building will provide room for the wrestling team and will also have space for the district's other sports. There will be storage room and room for coaches to work with students.
The expected cost will be $3 million. Insurance on the former building contributes $500,000 of that cost.
Other summer construction projects included replacing a heating boiler at Quarryville Elementary School and reworking the water system at Solanco High School.
The water system has been troublesome for a while, Tucker said. "The controls for adding chemicals to the water have been a problem," she said.
The district has been testing that school's water several times a day to make sure the aging equipment was working properly. On one occasion, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection had to be notified when the equipment malfunctioned.
The new equipment should make sure similar problems do not reoccur, the business manager said.
The high school has also gotten a new water heater.