New Athens High School might not open in time for first day of class

ATHENS, Ala - The Athens City School district is currently constructing a new high school hoping it would be ready for the first day of school, but weather slowed down construction.

Now school officials worry the first day in a new school won't happen.

The blueprints for the new high school are becoming a reality. Superintendent Trey Holladay says originally construction was scheduled to be complete in October, but the crews were 45 days ahead of schedule.

"Weather days, they really killed us," Holladay says rain slowed down the project.

"It's no fault of anything going wrong with the construction of the new school. It's just that we, me, decided to try to hit that date, and it's a good chance we're going to miss it now," Holladay said.

There is a lot of shifting going on in the district. Next fall, kids in grades 4-12 will be taking classes at different facilities. Students in grade 6-8 will be going to the old high school, which means 9th through 12th-grade students need to go somewhere else.

They have a plan 'B' site, where middle school students went last year, if the new facility isn't ready. That facility originally opened in the 1970s. The building still needs to be cleaned and prepared to handle double the amount of students than last year.

"Logistically the high school administration teachers have just been doing some planning this summer to make sure that they can handle that adjustment," Holladay said.

He says the district prepared this plan as they wait to see how quickly crews can complete construction on the new high school. Holladay is waiting to formally announce the plan for the 2018-2019 school year till next month. At that time, he will also announce how long the high school students will take classes at the old middle school.

He says the students will move to that building as soon as the new facility is ready.