KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As school buildings are closed on both sides of the state line, school construction hasn't stopped.
Center School District's new elementary building, Indian Creek, is still expected to complete on time.
The new 60,000 square foot school is being built right next door to the current one.
District leaders said the $20 million building will provide more space and classrooms for both students and teachers.
With students out for the rest of the school year, the district's facility director, Rick Carpenter, said it's changed construction.
"It's kind of an advantage for us is that we’re getting a little bit of a lee time," Facilities Director, Rick Carpenter said. "Six more weeks that we would not have projected at the beginning to kind of start our construction and be able to get into our schools sooner than we thought."
Indian Creek principal, Dr. Angela Price said while it is unfortunate not having students in session, she's glad construction is still moving forward.
"We hate that our students are not able to be in the building, but we know safety first for all of our children our families," Dr. Price said. "But it is nice that they can continue the work otherwise they wouldn’t be able to do it during school hours, so they’re able to do it today so they can get it a lot more done so we’re excited about that."
With no classes in session, Newkirk Novak Construction Partners LLC said they're able to get more accomplished in a faster amount of time.
"Our safety precautions in our safety majors they don’t get relaxed but we don’t have the same concerns that we have if kids were in school," Newkirk Novak Construction President, Lynn Newkirk said. "So access and deliveries to and from the job site can occur all day long, rather than just during the non-high traffic: school drop offs and school pick ups, so that’s helped."
However, there are challenges.
With everything at a standstill, Newkirk said he's worried about supplies running low within the next couple of weeks.
"I would think those would start really start being felt within the next month or two projects where manufacturing has stopped or slowed down or taking a pause," Newkirk said. "And I think we will start to see those inventories run out, and as we need that material on the job site, will be feeling that."
He said their whole way of doing business now is different. They talk with their clients and subcontractors virtually.
Newkirk said they're also doing what they can to stay healthy and safe while getting the job done.
"Face coverings are now being recommended by the CDC, so that something we’re implementing," Newkirk said. "Hand washing stations on the job site, sanitizing areas that are consistently being frequented by the workers - porta-Johns and trailers, door knobs and tables where folks might sit around, those sorts of things."
Construction on the new elementary school is set to be completed by Fall 2021.
For a look at other construction updates within the Center School District, click here.