September 20, 2012
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
Parents of children in the New Boston School district are feeling a little disappointed this week, upon news that the opening of the new school on Lakeview Avenue has been delayed again until mid-October.
Originally expecting the new school to have been complete in June, the project was pushed back five times until its most recent deadline of Sept. 28. Earlier this week, New Boston Superintendent Mike Staggs said construction would not meet that deadline, and pushed it back a few more weeks to an undetermined date. Staggs said he still believes students can start class in the new building by mid-October.
But parents in the district aren’t so sure.
Amanda McCallister has three children at New Boston School — one in pre-school, another in 1st grade, and the oldest in 3rd grade. She doesn’t believe the district will meet the October deadline.
“It’s upsetting because the kids are so excited to start in the new school. There was promises of all this new technology and how good it was going to be for the students and their learning capacities were going to be doubled, if not tripled, because New Boston has been behind in their technology because their old school building just don’t allow for what’s needed,” she said.
McCallister said the building looks wonderful, and she’s excited for the kids and the community, but she just wishes they would get it finished.
“I think, realistically, it’s either going to be after Christmas break or maybe summer break,” she said.
Mary Ann Rowe has a son in the 2nd grade at New Boston, and said she feels like the school administration has repeatedly given unrealistic deadlines because they are being pressured to finish quickly. She said the parents she talks with aren’t in a hurry, and kids are getting their hopes up just to be let down again. She doesn’t believe they will meet this new deadline, and said it would be better for everyone to delay the opening until the start of next school year.
“What kind of affect is it going to have on the kids, especially the kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, that are just now used to leaving mommy and just now starting to feel comfortable in this building, and then mid-way though the year they’re going to pick them up and move them someplace else. I don’t think they’re really thinking about how this is going to affect the students. Is it going to affect their grades?” Rowe said.
Despite the building setbacks and problems, Rowe said she is excited for the new school and she wouldn’t send her child to any other school district. She said her son went to another local district for two-days and was a nervous wreck because teachers “herd them in like animals” there.
“I love the New Boston School system. I love the fact that everyone knows his name. They know my name, they know his dad’s name, his grandma’s name. It’s very comforting, because I know if my son falls down on the playground and skins his knee, someone is going to pick him up and pat him on the back on tell him it’s going to be OK,” she said.
Superintendent Staggs has said he expects to have students in the new building by mid-October, but the absolute worst-case scenario, he said, would be after Thanksgiving this year.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.