Global supply chain issues are causing delays everywhere, and that includes the construction of the new Webb Elementary School. Originally scheduled to open for the beginning of the school year in August, the new Webb will welcome students for the first time a little later.
The new school building at Webb will replace the current building, which opened in 1960 as the original Nichols Junior High School. Webb’s current site is large enough that the new building is under construction on the property while the current building remains open.
The Arlington ISD Board of Trustees approved an extension for the completion date of the new Webb at its meeting on June 2. Originally, construction was slated to finish in June of this year, but that has been contractually pushed back to October 31. The primary reason for the delay is the global supply chain issues. Delays in getting all kinds of construction materials have slowed down progress.
Some of the materials that have been hard to get in a timely manner include wood doors, door hardware, interior and exterior glazing (windows), aluminum materials for window frames, communications cabling, roofing materials, audio/visual equipment, kitchen equipment, landscaping materials and more.
“The district, the project architect and the contractor have worked diligently to identify alternate building materials and alternate sources for building materials while still meeting the design intent in an effort to keep the project on the original project schedule,” said Kelly Horn, Arlington ISD assistant superintendent of facility services. “However, a delay in a relative few building materials can change the entire sequence of operations and push the project behind. It is most unfortunate, but unavoidable given the current conditions. We are still very excited about our project to build a state-of-the-art facility for our students, staff and community. The design is the same, and we’re not leaving anything out. It’s just taking a little longer to complete.”
So, what does this all mean for Webb? Instead of opening the new school in August at the start of the school year, Webb students and teachers will start the new school year in their current building. Then, once the new building is ready in the late fall, they’ll move in.
“The excitement continues for our students, staff and community!” said Webb principal Dr. Evelyn Navarro-Gaspar. “We will continue to see the progression of our building up until its finishing touches. In the meantime, our students continue to be intrigued by the size of the campus, and they still wonder where their new classroom will be! Once the move-in date is set, maps will be available for parents identifying grade-level pods, classrooms and parking spaces, as well as our arrival and dismissal systems. It will be a neat process to move in during the school year, and we will be absolutely ready!”
Webb is the first of four school replacements funded by the 2019 Bond, an effort to modernize the district’s schools and revitalize their neighborhoods. It’s all about providing generations of students with the opportunities they need to succeed in the 21st century. In addition to Webb, a new Berry and new Thornton elementary are also under construction, slated to open for the 2023-24 school year. Finally, Carter Junior High will be replaced with a new building at a new location – the site of the former Knox Elementary (and now the temporary Thornton). The new Carter is currently in design.
The 2019 Bond is doing a lot more than building four schools. Learn about all the bond projects at aisd.net/bond from new playgrounds to new school buses.