Weather delays construction of two schools

February 20, 1994|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer

Severe winter weather has played havoc with construction of Church Creek Elementary in Belcamp and Emmorton Elementary Bel Air, putting both schools at least a month behind schedule.

Church Creek, at Riverside Parkway and Church Creek Road, was to have been finished by July 27 this year. It is about 50 percent complete, said Donald R. Morrison, the schools spokesman.

Emmorton Elementary, near the Harford Glen Environmental Education Center on South Wheel Road, was to have been completed Aug. 1. About 30 percent of that building has been finished, he added.

"The schedule for both buildings has been disrupted by subzero weather and snow and ice," Mr. Morrison said.

He expects that both schools will be ready by September.

School officials, including the project managers, will meet with contractors next week to assess how far behind the construction has fallen.

"A recovery schedule will be made and a plan will be decided on that will make up for the time that was lost," Mr. Morrison said.

"It sounds worse than it is," he said. "But we expect the work can be made up in the spring and summer."

That worries Pat Benedict, who lives near Church Creek Elementary and has served as an unofficial liaison between the school system and the neighborhood.

She is concerned that school officials have not contacted the community and told them of the delay, given the history of the project.

Work at Church Creek Elementary has been delayed several times. The building was to have opened in September 1993 but the opening date was repeatedly pushed back until the school system announced that it would not open until September 1994.

Peter J. Scarpulla Contractors of Baltimore stopped construction the Church Creek site Sept. 10 because of "financial difficulties." Its bonding company, St. Paul Seaboard Co. of New Jersey, took over the project.

Work resumed in November after the school system signed a contract with H. A. Harris Co. of Baltimore to finish the building.

Mrs. Benedict said she wants a specific date when Church Creek will open. She said school officials seem reluctant to discuss the project.

"When we ask them questions, they just smile and pat us on the head," she said.

Mrs. Benedict, who drives or walks by the construction site regularly, said the Harris employees and subcontractors have been working very hard.

"Those people were working on the building when it was bitterly cold, when schools were closed or delayed," she said.

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