The school board unanimously approved a recommendation by interim superintendent Jackie Sharp to delay the opening of the schools by two school days, which means the first full day of school for these students will be Monday, August 15.
"I decided I would rather be safe than sorry when I recommended the board allow us to delay the beginning of full days of school at Jones and Richardson Elementary schools," Sharp said. "I have a concern that the restrooms would not be quite ready for use by Thursday; however, I feel confident that adequate facilities will be ready by Monday."
According to Sharp, the restrooms were to be operational as of August 11. Sharp told the board she has spoken with the contractor and architect.
"They have certainly been trying to speed up the process," she said. "I have been over there and have seen them working just as fast as they can. I think the restrooms maybe operational by the eleventh, but not functional. Another words, the plumbing and things may work but there will still be details and cleaning up that need to be complete."
Sharp said she understands how the delay may cause difficulty for some parents.
"As always, I ask for parents to be patient as we begin another school year," she said. "There are always some unexpected issues that we will have to address.
"With reconfiguration of many schools and many changed bus routes, there are sure to be a few minor problems," Sharp continued. "Rest assured that we will address those problems as quickly as possible."
Another parental and community concern, voiced by several school board members, is for safety of students during the extreme heat the area has been experiencing.
"We will make every effort to keep our students safe and healthy during this prolonged heat wave," Sharp said. "Football coaches are taking precautions to make sure their athletes stay hydrated."
Sharp also noted that outside activities during the school day will be curtailed until temperatures return to a normal state and went on to say special attention is being paid to busing during the heat.
Sharp explained fans in the roof of each bus work to cool the vehicle by pulling the hot air out.
"But this only works when each bus is being driven; when the bus stops the fans stop," she said. "I have asked each principal to make sure that students do not sit on a parked bus for any longer than it takes to load and unload. We will also be providing water on each bus."
Central Elementary was set to undergo HVAC alteration, but bids for the project have been protested, which will cause a delay in the project. More information will be provided in a future issue of the Minden Press-Herald.