Construction deadline pushed back for Van Wyck Elementary School

Construction behind on new school

LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A new school being built in Indian Land was supposed to be completed in mid-June, but will likely not be finished until the first day of school or after, according to school officials.

Facilities Director for Lancaster County Schools David Small says construction began roughly a year and a half ago and Van Wyck Elementary School was supposed to be completed by mid-June. Students are expected to begin class on August 20, but he says they are weeks behind schedule.

"Just labor, we needed more skilled labor," Small said.

He adds that several rain days also contributed to the setbacks.

With immense growth in Indian Land, they say there is a shortage of qualified labor; which is not unique to the school district projects.

"The school district alone has four different projects occurring so those local resources were strained," School Board Member Melvin Stroble Sr. said.

Small says there is one more large hurdle the school needs to overcome to be able to open by the first day of school. He says state inspectors will be on site on August 2, to ensure life-saving equipment like fire alarms and sprinklers are installed. If the final inspection is passed, the school will be ready by the first day.

However, Small says they will likely still have other construction work to finish while school begins. The pathway into the school needs paving, kitchen equipment has not been installed and other items are on the to-do-list. He says electrical work and plumbing is complete.

"Things that are necessary for the building to be occupied to function safely for our students and staff will be completed," Stroble said.

Stroble and Small say they are on track to pass the final inspection and they are not leaving any room for error.

"There is no plan B, that I'm aware of right now," Stroble said.

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