LANCASTER COUNTY, SC – Students are expected to walk through the gates of the new Indian Land High School on August 16.
Even the principal of Lancaster schools admits it will be a little miracle if they are ready for class.
“I am as confident as possible knowing the school should have been ready a year ago,” said Superintendent Jonathan Phipps.
[Residential development planned in Indian Land]
The $ 100 million school is so late that the class of 2021 was supposed to graduate from it last school year.
Instead, construction crews are scrambling to get the campus ready to open next month.
There are a lot of reasons the project ran into so many problems.
Early rain delays slowed down work for months.
The COVID-19 cases have kept workers from working and at least one subcontractor has gone bankrupt.
Then there was a problem with the land itself.
Removing stones from the property near the highway proved to be more costly as the project progressed.
“We were told, ‘Yeah, there’s rock over there, but it’s right in places, and there’s rock all over this area of India,’” Phipps said.
The move cost $ 11 million more than budget, which was not completed.
There is always a problem under the baseball diamonds that cannot be classified until more work is done.
“Last week they called us and said, ‘Unfortunately we’re going to have to do more blasting.’ And of course that scared me, because I’m like, “We’re getting ready to have it inspected,” Phipps said.
The campus has already failed a safety inspection but luckily a minor list of fixes will be taken care of.
School officials said state inspectors have been monitoring the campus and demanding changes since May.
This process is still ongoing.
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The new campus is located on Highway 521 about five miles south of what is now Indian Land High School, which is closer to Lancaster.
About 1,600 students hope to start their new school year there.
If there is no certificate of occupancy in hand on opening day, they can only use part of the building while the rest is finished so it can get a passing grade.
This is the worst case scenario.
Phipps is hoping that the grand opening ceremony, which is scheduled for August 7, can still take place.
Channel 9 contacted the general contractor, Cleveland Construction.
A spokesperson said it was not appropriate to comment on the school plan.
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