One of three new elementary schools expected to open in Dorchester District Two by 2015 has fallen behind schedule, and Superintendent Joe Pye is worried the school will not open on time.
Eugene Sires Elementary, or Elementary School 1, is missing a land disturbance permit that is preventing the start of construction.
"I'm most concerned," Pye said. "I'll be very blunt - I don't see where it could possibly open on time."
The land disturbance permit is necessary for crews to break ground.
Bob Folkman, capital improvements facilitator for the district, approached DD2 board members during their scheduled board meeting Monday to deliver the construction update. Folkman said contractors are still waiting on answers from the office of Ocean and Costal Resource Management - a division of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control responsible for land disturbance permits.
Originally, Folkman said, the final land disturbance permit was supposed to come in at the end of July or first of August.
"Now they're telling us they hope to have their comments and permit by the end of this month," Folkman said. "We hurry up and wait. It's just out of our control."
Construction has already begun on Elementary Schools 2 and 3, also known as Sand Hill and Alston Bailey Elementary Schools, respectively. Folkman said there are no permit issues with those two schools.
After the board meeting Folkman said he wished that the permit process had started in May of 2013 - about three months earlier than it actually did.
"This is my first experience with this," Folkman said. "I'm frustrated."
All three new elementary schools are supposed to open in August 2015 - in time for the 2015-2016 school year.
"I'm still optimistic that it will open in 2015," Folkman said, "but we just got to do what we can to get through this permit process.
"Once we get that permit we can start construction," he said.
Pye, however, is not quite as optimistic.
"I think we may be off a few months," he said. "If it's only a month or two off that's one thing, but if it's seven months off, then that means another whole year delayed. If we don't get it off the ground soon, it's adding up. That's my issue."
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