Kannapolis Intermediate students starting school a week late

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 23, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
KANNAPOLIS — Students at Kannapolis Intermediate School will have an extra week of summer break, but they’ll pay for it by arriving at school 15 minutes earlier each day.
Officials with the Kannapolis City school system have decided to put off the first day of class until Sept. 4 due to construction delays.
Students will make up the time by arriving at school at 7:15 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m.
“I wish we could start school on time, and I know this causes a hardship for parents. I apologize to them for the inconvenience,” Principal Rob Knuschke said in a press release. “However, we always keep our children’s safety as our top priority, and we want to make sure our school is clean and safe when they return. The extra week will allow us to do that.”
Knuschke said the decision to start earlier each day came after calculating the amount of time needed to make up the five missed days.
“It’s the most logical choice since the middle school starts at 7:15 a.m.,” he said. “It’s early for kids, but the least intrusive for parents and the district.”
Installation of a new heating and air conditioning system began in June, but will not wrap up until Monday, the district’s first day of school. Extra time is needed to clean the school after the project is complete.
The new state-of-the-art system will replace equipment that is nearly 30 years old.
“We began this process before school ended in June,” said Will Crabtree, the district’s director of business operations. “However, after meeting with the contractors and doing a walk-through of the building, it became clear that we would not be able to open school on Monday.”
Knuschke said school administrators and board members have been chipping in with the clean up to ensure the school is healthy and safe before classes start.
The school is notifying parents of the delay by sending a Connect Ed phone message and by mailing letters.
Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain said she regrets the inconvenience, but is happy the “school will be a better place when it opens on Sept. 4.”
“Everyone at Kannapolis Intermediate School has been very understanding about the situation,” she said in a press release. “They have worked extremely hard to get the school ready on time, but the delays were beyond their control. I really appreciate their outstanding attitude and the way they have communicated with parents about the situation.”
The school, which houses fifth- and sixth-graders, will host an open house from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday at A.L. Brown High School. Parents will be able to talk to their children’s teachers and get additional information about the start of school.
Kannapolis Intermediate is also in the process of installing a new roof, which is expected to be finished by December.
The project will not interrupt class.
“It’s a much less intrusive project when you talk about putting a roof on a building,” Knuschke said. “In a couple of months we’re going to have a vastly different facility when these renovations are complete.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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