Officials seek ‘definitive’ schedule

August 21, 2018

Kankakee’s schools superintendent said Friday she was “reasonably confident” the high school would open to upperclassmen by Sept. 10.

If it does, it would be about two weeks late because of a massive construction project.

“I’m always hesitant when talking about construction schedules because you never know what’s going to happen,” Superintendent Genevra Walters said.

She said she was glad to know the construction contractor is painting some classrooms, which she said leads her to believe the school will be ready Sept. 10.

Today, the Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education, which approves new school construction, will inspect the school’s mobile units, where freshmen will start going to class Wednesday — the first day of school for everyone but upperclassmen.

Also on Wednesday, upperclassmen are expected to begin doing lessons remotely on school-issued laptops.

The regional office is scheduled to inspect new classrooms on Sept. 7 or Sept. 10, where approval would ensure that most of the rest of the school can open, Walters said. If the inspection is done Sept. 10, it would be early enough in the morning that school could open that day, she said.

Every Wednesday, school officials meet with the contractor about the school’s opening.

“I’m personally hoping to get a definitive date, but I won’t know until Wednesday,” Walters said. “We want them to schedule when classrooms become available.”

The goal now is to get classrooms ready for the new year. Other parts of the nearly $20 million project throughout the next year will be finished later. The school expects the revamped auditorium to be ready by November and the band areas by January.

The school district has asked for extra police patrols near the high school. The school’s alarm system is disabled because of the lack of wi-fi during construction, Walters said.

A few days ago, the school was vandalized with ketchup, mustard and fruit punch, Walters said. It happened in the part of the school not under construction.

Maintenance employees were able to clean up the mess, Walters said.

The school district did not file a police report.

“There is no way to know who did it,” the superintendent said.

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