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Weather Hampers Construction at Osage High School

March 12, 2019 10:39 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- As the dirt piles outside Osage Middle/High School gave way to snow piles, the hope was that it wouldn't severely impact the construction timeline for a $12 million expansion at the school. Despite their best efforts, the district now finds itself weeks behind on multiple projects within the first phase of the plan.

"Mother Nature has not been the kindest since we broke ground," Superintendent Barb Schwamman said Tuesday after a planned ribbon-cutting on the band and choir room was forced back due to delays.

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The music room area will also double as a tornado shelter, adding an extra layer of pressure on construction crews to finish work before spring. Despite the delays, students will likely be able to begin using the space within weeks, Schwamman said.

Elsewhere on the campus, metal beams have gone up and a portion of a block wall has been installed on a new gymnasium and cafeteria. The first phase of the expansion also included renovated science classrooms, which are currently open to students.

The second phase of construction, which would include renovating a current office into classroom space and adding security upgrades among other things, could get a thumbs up from the school board next week, with work set to begin in the summer. Both phases should be done by the time students return in the fall, Schwamman said.

Even with the setbacks, Schwamman said students and staff have been handling the changes well.

"The kids have had to be really flexible, as has our staff, so I'm going to had it to them," she said. "Parking's been a hard situation this year, (as has) which door we're using, which hallways are open, having some water fountains shut off, different things that we've had to do because of it."

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