Smithville Elementary School, which received primarily roof damage from storm winds on the last day of school, May 26 should be ready to re-open on the first day of School August 1. However, the DCHS Science lab, which has been under renovation since school has been out for the summer, will not be completely ready until possibly mid-September.
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby updated the Board of Education on both projects Thursday night. As for the DCHS science lab, while the water, gas, electric, and drainage lines have been re-configured for eight new lab stations (to acommodate up to four students per station), and a lab station for the teacher, the new furniture and lab components will not arrive until mid-September. "When we started and ordered everything, it was not in writing but it was said that if everything went as planned, everything (furniture and lab components) would come in right before school started. But very few times do things come in as they are supposed to come in. Therefore, the email that I received this week said that all the things we have ordered are due to arrive now September 13. That is not what we wanted to hear. Hopefully it will be earlier than that but we were already anticipating not using that room at the very beginning of the year. This has just pushed it back a little further than what our anticipations were to begin with. A lot of work has gone into that (science lab) and we will be ready to do the floor on Tuesday. So when you open the door to that particular classroom, it will look like a brand new school," said Willoughby.
Meanwhile on the Smithville Elementary School Project, Willoughby said "The insurance people told Earl (Jared), Maintenance Supervisor, today (Thursday) that it (elementary school) would be ready by the time school started. I would like to have a little more comfort there, but they did promise to have it ready by the time school started. Our insurance company and the underwriters had a disagreement on how much it would cost to fix it. Our insurance company went ahead and said we're going to go ahead and fix it and we will take up the disagreement later," said Willoughby.