Nowata Schools Start Day is Delayed

There's no school for Nowata this week. The district is getting a facelift from a $10 million bond issue. But rainy weather has delayed that new construction and the buildings simply aren't ready. The district is having to start a week later than planned.

The first phase of this construction started in May of 2012. The majority of the work had to wait until May of this year because they couldn't do the renovations while students were in the classrooms. But with all the dust that is still pilling up the superintendent had to make a decision.

"Little things have delayed us here and there, so, we didn't feel think the buildings were in the shape they needed to be to begin," Nowata Public Schools Superintendent Kathryn Berry said.

The elementary and middle schools are the ones getting the face lifts. There are still classrooms that need carpet, hallways that need to be titled, pluming issues to work out, and the superintendents office needs to be complete.

Berry said get her office done last she just needs classrooms and one good thing is the teachers could start moving on Thursday.

"I hate to delay the start of school but I think it's really better to start the year organized. Let us get our classrooms ready, instead of starting with chaos because I think the kids it would be hard on them, sixth grade teacher, Robbie Scott said.

Scott has been a teacher here for 25 years and has never had a brand new classroom and admits she is a little nervous about all the new things.

"I am a science teacher. We do a lot of hands on experiments and I'm a little bit messy. I am a little bit concerned, I don't want to tear up the room," Scott said.

The middle school got seven new classrooms, a principal's office, a teachers' workroom, new tile on the floors and walls, and new energy efficient windows. The elementary school got all new carpet, fresh paint on the walls, and a new entry way into the school. But starting a few days late does mean something for the school calendar.

"We did have to extend our school year by three extra days at the end. We have increased our educational hours of the day, by ten minutes, which we were already going to do that," Berry said.

The final construction of the new gym will be complete in October. That is the last project for the bond issue.