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Start Of Classes Delayed In Nowata After Rain Delays Construction

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Unfinished construction is delaying the start of school until September 3, and rain has played a big part in that. Unfinished construction is delaying the start of school until September 3, and rain has played a big part in that.
"Over at our elementary school, they dug up that concrete and they were ready to pour, and then here came the rain over the last couple of weeks," Superintendent Kathryn Berry said. "Over at our elementary school, they dug up that concrete and they were ready to pour, and then here came the rain over the last couple of weeks," Superintendent Kathryn Berry said.
Believe it or not, the superintendent said rain is creating humidity inside, and that's preventing construction crews from finishing a lot of work. Believe it or not, the superintendent said rain is creating humidity inside, and that's preventing construction crews from finishing a lot of work.
NOWATA, Oklahoma -

Kids in Nowata get an extra week of summer vacation. Unfinished construction is delaying the start of school until September 3, and rain has played a big part in that.

Voters passed a $10 million bond to renovate the elementary school, add on to the middle school and build a new gym.

Things were on track to be finished by mid-August, but Mother Nature put a damper on those plans.

It's officially crunch time.

"We were getting down to the wire," said Superintendent Kathryn Berry.

When you look at the outside of Nowata Public Schools, it's clear that class won't be in session any time soon. Heavy machinery sits outside, along with wheelbarrows and signs marking the area as a construction zone.

"It just seems to be a very slow progress, process in getting it all done," Berry said.

Summer is the prime time for schools to do big construction projects, but this summer has been an unusual one filled with lots of rain.

"Over at our elementary school, they dug up that concrete and they were ready to pour, and then here came the rain over the last couple of weeks," Berry said.

Teachers were originally scheduled to start on August 19, and students would file in three days later. Now that is postponed.

Believe it or not, the superintendent said rain is creating humidity inside, and that's preventing construction crews from finishing a lot of work.

Hallways are still filled with ladders and electricians doing what little they can, like placing wires in the ceiling.

"We just did not see any way that all the classrooms were going to be done, teachers were going to have time to work in those, because the schools have basically been shut down to the teachers," Berry said.

Classes are scheduled to start after Labor Day and some summer babysitters aren't complaining.

"When I was a kid, this is when we started school. We always started after Labor Day, so I think it's neat for them," Kim Kipps said.

As a Nowata High School alum, Kipps is welcoming the school upgrades and more quality time with her nieces and nephews during this extended summer vacation.

"I went to school there myself, so it's going to be great that they're adding on to it, things are going to be different," Kipps said.

Each school day is now extended by 10 minutes to make up for missed hours. That means the district will only have to make up three extra days at the end of the year.

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