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Students Re-Assigned As Construction Delays Hold Up Opening Of New School

PLEASANT VIEW, Utah – Just weeks ago, administrators in the Weber School District were hopeful that the brand new Orchard Springs Elementary School would be ready to welcome students on the first day of school. That has now changed.

“That became pretty apparent that that wasn’t going to happen,” District Spokesman, Lane Findlay said. “We’re working to try to figure out how to open a school when the school is not open.”

That plan now includes spreading out Orchard Springs’s 380 students by grade, among 5 other elementary schools. Plans have also been made to bus the children to those schools. Vaughan McFarlan, who lives just across from Orchard Springs says his two daughters, in first and third grade, will have to go to two different schools.

“That was part of the appeal of buying in this area, was being close to a new school,” Vaughan said. “I’m disappointed, but I’m not surprised, with the construction industry the way that it is.”

Findlay says Orchard Springs Elementary, and Silver Ridge Elementary, in Farr West have nearly identical designs, and were both funded around the same time. Teachers at Silver Ridge were setting up their classrooms Monday, while contractors worked out some of the finishing touches.

“Some frustration on our part, that you contract and plan well in advance,” Findlay said. “You have two schools going up that are very similar, going up at the same time, and you have one that’s ready, and one that’s considerably behind.”

DWA construction said a spring underneath Orchard Springs continues to cause issues, and safety concerns. In addition, they say the electrician they originally subcontracted defaulted, and they have since hired three or four companies to go through and find and fix those mistakes.

Findlay says administrators from the five elementary schools in the area ultimately came together to figure out where the students will go, and how they’ll get there.

“We’re hoping it’s not for a long period of time, but it will at least get us started for the new school year,” Findlay said.

An email to parents said that students could start attending classes at Orchard Springs within a one to three months. Findlay said however that it may still be several months before the school is completed.

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