Construction Continues On Broken Arrow Schools While Classes Begin
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - More than 18,000 Broken Arrow kids will head back to school on Thursday. But before class begins, construction crews are rushing to make sure all the buildings are ready to go.
Oneta Ridge Middle School is one of the six new schools in Broken Arrow. Students and parents came by Tuesday to take a tour of the new building.
Although things are almost finished there, there's another school in the district still undergoing some serious construction. When students head back to Broken Arrow's Sequoyah Middle School, bells won't be the only thing they hear. Access to the front of the school is shut down, since the front parking lot is ground zero for construction crews.
"The scope of the project is such that we're not going to be able to get that done by Thursday when school starts," said Tara Thompson, Broken Arrow Public Schools spokesperson.
The renovation is part of a $295 million bond that voters passed in 2009. Outside, there will be a new road to help ease the flow of traffic before and after school. Inside, are new classrooms and upgrades to the locker room.
This construction started during the summer and is scheduled to be complete sometime during the school year.
"In Broken Arrow, we've become very used to just conducting business under construction, so the students and staff at that site will carry on as normal," Thompson said.
Over at Oneta Ridge Middle School, teachers are moving into their classrooms, while construction crews are putting final touches on the brand new building.
"It's been a busy week," said Principal Mickey Replogle. "Trying to prioritize everything is a big item right now--doing what we need to do to have kids here, then finishing up all the pretty items."
The majority of the work is already finished, but there are a few things that will be out of place when class begins.
"There are a few flooring issues that we're trying to get complete, a few touch-up painting items here and there," Replogle said.
Although construction crews will still be around when class starts, the principal said there's a lot of excitement, since this is the first year in a brand new building.
But there may be a lot of congestion before and after school there, because the City of Broken Arrow is currently expanding Oneta Road, which runs in front of the school. Since that road is closed, you have to drive through the Highlands neighborhood to get to the school.