The $78 million renovation and expansion project planned for Bensalem High School has been delayed by about three months, a district official told Patch.
Construction was expected to begin in June, officials said previously, but the district's Director of Business Operations, Kenneth Medina, said that work is not expected to get underway until late August or September.
Officials are in discussion on the design phase of the project, Medina said and would then move into the second part of that phase, which involves the completion of final drawings needed to bid the project. Bidding was originally set for March, but he said that will not happen now until June or July.
The three-month delay means construction would continue through the end of 2015 or early 2016, based on the schedule district officials outlined previously.
One of the "hurdles" the district has to contend with relates to the scheduling of courses while work is ongoing.
"We have to phase into our schedule what courses we can offer if we have fewer classrooms in the high school," Medina said. "A portion of a wing may be closed."
Officials must now finalize which phases would be happening in the construction schedule and, in all likelihood, may need to change a semester.
"It's a logistical hurdle," he said.
Part of the construction project involves asbestos remediation, officials have said. Students will not be in danger if construction work begins while the school year is in progress, Medina said.
There is "plenty" of asbestos surveying going on throughout the year and professionals will "communicate what may be in the building and remediation and how to contain that," he said.
"It’s not like we’re going to start ripping down walls without concern for students," Medina said.
The Bensalem High School renovation plans call for a 23,000-square-foot addition to the 45-year-old school and renovations to reconfigure the high school into four academies: Ninth Grade, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Fine & Performing Arts, and Business and International Studies.