New Castle News

August 28, 2012

Wilmington delaying start of school again

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW WILMINGTON — Wilmington has delayed the start of school another week — to Sept. 10.

Meanwhile, classes are in session in Lawrence County’s seven other school districts.

The doors opened at New Castle, Neshannock, Laurel, Shenango, Union and Mohawk Monday for the start of school. Ellwood City began classes Thursday.

Dr. C. Joyce Nicksick, Wilmington superintendent, said that decision came late last week when she toured the building with board president Nancy Bretz, the architects and the contractors.

The delay is primarily because asbestos was removed from the auditorium a week ago and, until it is tested, janitors cannot go into the building, Nicksick said.

“We haven’t had custodians in there for about a week and we won’t have (the asbestos) test results until later today.”

As a result, neither the school offices nor the classroom furniture have been moved back into the building.

“We need the additional time to make that transition,” Nicksick said.

She explained all the asbestos has been removed from the entire school, but the last place it was removed was from the auditorium, which was a week ago.

“We had to remove every chair from the auditorium and it was in the floor attachment in the auditorium,” she said, adding samples of it had to be sent to New Jersey because of such a large space requiring abatement.

All parents were notified of school’s delay via the district’s mass communication system, Nicksick said.

The board had changed its school calendar to reflect Sept. 4 as the starting date for the new school year, because of the renovation.

The project includes replacement of the boiler system and roof, new air conditioning, fire alarm and phone system upgrades, securing entrances, a new fitness room, improvements to the kitchen and cafeteria, addition of a security alarm and video surveillance and parking lot lighting.

The project also includes improvements for the handicapped and exterior renovations.

Nicksick said, “The building looks great.”