GARDNER, MASS. (WHDH) – Supply chain issues have caused a delayed start to the school year in Gardner as construction work is put on hold at a new elementary school.
Construction was delayed at the Gardner Elementary School as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the staffing and supply chain preventing the school from getting specific electrical pieces.
“Obviously, it looks like an ant hill over there, everyone is rushing to get everything wrapped up, but there are these few electrical components that have hit with the supply chain issues that everyone else is experiencing,” said Gardner Public Schools Director of Finance and Operations Mark Hawke.
The start of school will be pushed back two weeks at the elementary school and one week at the middle and high school due to unrelated contract issues.
“There’s a lot of contractual issues, busing, we only pay for 180 days a year, the teacher’s contract is 184 days,” said Hawke.
The delay has caused parents to scramble to rearrange plans and raised questions on how it will affect the end of the school year.
“I have preschool, which is my daughter behind me, I got second grade, and I got fourth grade, so it’s a hassle,” said Henri Panameno. “We are trying to see if they are going to extend it at the end of year or the kids are going to spend even more time in [school].”
The district is seeking a waiver from the state for the four days the elementary school students may have to make up.
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