Officials: Delayed new Grissom High construction to begin soon

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- The $60 million new Grissom High School will open after its originally-projected date.

Jennie Robinson, Huntsville City Schools board member, said, "It is not going to be ready by the August 2016 school year. That's frustrating for everybody."

She cites research about Native American remains at the old site as a major factor for the delays. There was no proof to this rumor, and Huntsville City Schools found a new site on which to build.

"After spending months doing that research," said Robinson, "we were behind the timeline on getting the school built."

Thursday, the school board approved a contractor for the project.

Robinson told WHNT News 19 the new timeline for completion could involve a mid-year move.

"Construction completion by December 2016, and moving into the school January of 2017," she said. "If that is not possible, we will have to move in August of 2017."

She said any option that puts academics at risk will not be considered.

"We don't know what is possible. So we are doing research right now to begin the process of looking at what would it take to do a mid-year move," said Robinson, "And, we've also got a couple years to prepare for this."

Officials are trying to expedite the process, not just to get children into the new facility, but also for the benefits they believe this will bring to the community in the new school's location. It is expected the new school would help revitalize that part of South Huntsville.